Sports & Fitness

Heart Health in Women

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Coronary disease is the number one cause of death in women. The five coronary risk factors capable of being changed through lifestyle modification are:

# Cigarette smoking

# High cholesterol

# High blood pressure

# Physical inactivity

# Obesity

But some risk factors can#t be changed:

# Increasing Age

The chances of developing heart disease increase as a woman ages.

# Family History

Women whose blood relatives have had heart disease are at greater risk.

# Race

African-American women are at greater risk, due partially to a tendency towards higher overall blood pressure.

# Diabetes

Women with Diabetes have three to seven times the risk of a heart attack.

# Prior history of heart attack or stroke

Women with prior histories are at higher risk for having more. Women who have suffered with transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes) are also at higher risk.

Becoming familiar with heart attack symptoms helps you know when to seek help:

# uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain at chest center lasting more than a few minutes or going away and coming back

# pain radiating to shoulders, neck or arms

# chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath

# in women, atypical chest pain, stomach or abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness, breathing difficulties, unexplained anxiety, weakness, fatigue, palpitations, cold sweats or paleness

Through physician referral and community outreach, the five cardiologists at Northside#s Heart Health Center work with patients to develop coronary risk profiles. The patient completes a personalized risk assessment. Screening tests for body fat, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, blood pressure, height and weight are conducted and followed by a personal consultation.

The best defense is a good offense. For more information, call Northside#s Heart Health Center for Women at (404) 851-8333 or visit www.northside.com .