Often when people hear the word cholesterol, they think it’s something that’s bad for you. In fact, though, your body needs cholesterol to produce hormones (such as cortisol, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen) and vitamin D. The liver also uses cholesterol to make bile, which plays an important role in the processing and digestion of fats.
Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in America, accounting for 34 percent of deaths, many suddenly and almost all of them premature. If you have diabetes, your risk rises even higher—dramatically. You have an increased risk of heart disease if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. You also are at greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.
Yet, in spite of all the negative statistics about heart disease, the good news is that these numbers can be reversed. By making a concerted effort to monitor your blood pressure, to watch your weight, to stop smoking and to get regular exercise, along with a few more simple steps, you can be well on your way to having a healthy heart and a decreased risk of serious problems.
Did you know that cardiac arrest, not breast cancer, is the #1 killer in women? In fact, according to The Heart Foundation, heart disease is more deadly for women than all forms of cancer combined. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease. And yet, only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is their greatest health threat.
Since the symptoms of heart disease can be quite different in women and men, and are often misunderstood, I offer this blog to help both sexes understand what to look for, what it might mean, and when to seek medical help.
The bad news: Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, Americans suffer 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes, and 2,200 people die from cardiovascular diseases every day.
The good news: Heart disease is mostly preventable.