Dangerous Heart Disease Myths That Kill Women
“It’s a man’s disease.” “But I’m too young.” “Breast cancer is the real threat.” In regard to your chances for a heart attack, if you’ve said any of this before, you’re not alone. Myths like these have helped kill one in 3 women every year.
“It’s a man’s disease.” “But I’m too young.” “Breast cancer is the real threat.”
In regard to your chances for a heart attack, if you’ve said any of this before, you’re not alone. Dangerous Myths like these have contributed to making heart disease the #1 killer for women.
Heart disease is a killer that strikes more women than men, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. In fact, one in three women dies every year from heart disease, according to the American Heart Association…
More surprising Facts:
Myth: Heart disease doesn’t affect women who are fit
Even if you’re a nutrition-conscious Mojo maven, your risk for heart disease isn’t completely eliminated. Factors like cholesterol, high blood pressure or a family history can counterbalance your other healthy habits. You can be thin and have high cholesterol.
Myth: I don’t have any symptoms
Sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. We’ve been conditioned to believe that the telltale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. But in reality, these are the symptoms
- Shortness of Breath
- Back or Jaw Pain
- Rapid heart rate or palpitations
- Pain in the Lower Chest or Upper Abdomen
Why is heart disease so incredibly prevalent and deadly for women?
Since heart disease is widely considered a man’s disease, women are widely underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. One in three women will die from heart disease.
How can this be in this day and age? (!!)
Female symptoms tend to be fatigue, shortness of breath or nausea, which are often mistaken for anxiety, flu, menopausal or pregnancy-related conditions. As a result, women may self-diagnose and be less likely to seek medical attention. Unfortunately, the first time many women feel their first chest pain, it’s too late.
What we can do to reduce our risk of heart disease:
- Even if you feel healthy, get regular checkups and know your numbers! Heart disease is a silent killer. When it comes to heart health, a woman’s intuition isn’t enough. Heart numbers matter. No ifs about it. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and make sure to get your cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure levels checked.
- Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight or have visceral fat, even losing a small amount of weight can help to reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Keep a healthy diet to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
- Exercise is one of the most important things we can do to prevent heart disease. It strengthens our heart, improves blood circulation, and helps fight visceral fat.
While all exercise is good, High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be uniquely effective for improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of heart disease:
- Improves cardiovascular fitness: HIIT has been shown to be more effective than moderate-intensity exercise for improving cardiovascular fitness because HIIT causes the heart to work harder and more efficiently, which can help to strengthen the heart muscle and improve blood circulation.
- Increases blood flow: HIIT helps to increase blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the heart and other tissues.
- Reduces blood pressure: HIIT can help to lower blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
- Lowers cholesterol levels: HIIT can help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This can help to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
- Reduces inflammation: HIIT is effective at reducing inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease.
- Improves weight management: HIIT tends to burn more calories than moderate-intensity exercise.
- Improves mental health: HIIT has been shown to improve mental health, including reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, which raises cortisol levels and can contribute to heart disease.
You’d never know it by looking at her…
Caroline O’Halloran, a 12-year Mojo friend and editor-in-chief of Savvy Mainline,
a greater risk for a heart attack.
Caroline sweating it out at our recent “Dare2tutu” fundraising event
Caroline’s father, William Mangan, was in his early 60s, when he suffered a major heart attack. Though he lived a full and vibrant life until age 90, Caroline is at high risk for hereditary reasons. As a result, she is well aware of her numbers, eats a healthy, well-balanced diet, and exercises passionately and regularly.
“That’s why I push the cardio, especially the intervals. Doctor’s orders! My elevated risk pushes me to give it my all at Mojo. P.S. I especially like the “free play” time during Mojo songs because that’s when I can run around and get the heart rate up even higher – plus, it’s fun to high-five everyone :-)”
Caroline O’Halloran (You GO, GF!)