HEART DISEASE FACTS & STATS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death of women in the United States. In fact, one in three women lives with heart disease; African Americans & Latinas are at greater risk for heart disease. Although most people think of it as a “man’s disease,” about the same number of women die each year of heart disease as men.
Essence Banks, Founder of Heart N Hands educates girls on heart health - NOLA.com
Essence Banks was diagnosed with heart disease at 30 years old. Up until that point, she had been an active woman with no other warning signs. Since then, she has made it her mission to educate the public about heart health. She founded Heart N Hands in 2014 to educate girls about heart health, including prevention, fitness and overall wellness. February 25, 2016
What are Diseases of the Heart?
The National Center for Health Statistics tabulated mortality of "Diseases of the Heart." The term is commonly used in its statistical publications and its compilation of the leading causes of death. This category groups diseases containing words referring to the "heart" and includes:
- Acute Rheumatic Fever/Chronic Rheumatic Heart Diseases
- Hypertensive Heart Disease and Hypertensive Heart and Renal Disease
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Other Heart Diseases includes heart failure
Heart Attack Signs in Women
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
These six heart attack symptoms are common in women:
- Chest pain or discomfort. Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but some women may experience it differently than men
- Pain in your arm(s), back, neck, or jaw
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness
Heart disease is preventable. Here are a few top tips:
- Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease.
- Quit smoking. Did you know that just one year after you quit, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent?
- Start an exercise program. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Modify your family’s diet if needed. Check out these healthy cooking tips. You’ll learn smart substitutions, healthy snacking ideas and better prep methods. For example, with poultry, use the leaner light meat (breasts) instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs), and be sure to remove the skin.
What Is Blood Pressure?
The top number refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during contraction of your heart muscle. This is called systolic pressure. The bottom number refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats. This is called diastolic pressure.
What Is Heart Failure?
Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs. The chambers of the heart may respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through the body or by becoming stiff and thickened. This helps to keep the blood moving, but the heart muscle walls may eventually weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently. As a result, the kidneys may respond by causing the body to retain fluid (water) and salt. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body becomes congested, and congestive heart failure is the term used to describe the condition.
What are Stroke Warning Signs? FAST?
- Face Drooping Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
- Arm Weakness Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech Difficulty Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time to call 9-1-1 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
WGNO ABC News: "Listening to your body can help young women survive heart disease" (Essence Harris Banks)