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Think You Aren't at Risk for Heart Disease? Think Again.

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Robinsbite: Think You Aren't at Risk for Heart Disease? Think Again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Think You Aren't at Risk for Heart Disease? Think Again.

I just saw a friend's husband in the intensive care unit after suffering a massive heart attack. If that vision doesn't kick you in the butt to take better care of yourself (eating better, exercising, seeing your MD regularly, stopping smoking, taking meds as prescribed), I don't know what will.

I've seen this many, many times as I've worked in hospitals earlier in my career. But now that I'm married and have a son, it looks a whole lot different. This man is 43 years old, a son, a husband and father of 2. I'm 40, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a niece and so on. My Dad had a heart attack when he was 53. My Grandfather had a heart attack at an early age, too.

Think you are not at risk? Think again-especially women. You did know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, right? Not breast cancer or any other disease as you might think. Heart disease is the #1 reason we lose our wives, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, aunts, cousins, nieces, etc.

Do you know the risk factors? If not, here they are (from

What are the major risk factors that can't be changed?
Increasing Age

Male Sex (Gender)
Heredity (Including Race)

What are the major risk factors you can modify, treat or control by changing your lifestyle or taking medicine?
Tobacco Smoke
High Blood Cholesterol
High Blood Pressure
Physical Inactivity
Obesity and Overweight
Diabetes Mellitus

What other factors contribute to heart disease risk?

Diet and Nutrition

Not sure about your risks? Go here to take the Heart Attack-Coronary Heart Disease-Metabolic Syndrome Risk Assessment

Take a look and see where you are. Notice that the majority of the risk factors are factors that WE can control. We CAN exercise more, we CAN eat more fruits and veggies, we CAN stop smoking, we CAN control our weight. We CAN take steps to decrease the stress in our lives. This is all GREAT news.

My Life Check is another self assessment tool to track your health offered by the American Heart Association. It takes about 5 minutes or so to complete. I just took it and received a 7 out of 10. Not up to my standards. (although because I did not have current blood pressure, cholesterol or fasting blood sugar available, that may have been part of the cause). Regardless, I can tell you that I would not hit a 10 out of 10 even with those numbers available. I am now one of the 45,000 plus people who have made the pledge to make improvements. Care to join me?

Lesson to me: go to my Doctor and get those numbers-now!

Lesson to you: find out your risk factors, make changes where you can, join the fight in saving your life. If not for you, do it for your wife, husband, children, grandchildren, sister, brother, mother or father. Believe me, they still need you to be here for a long time. And so do you.

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Blogger theprofessionalpalate said...

Amen to that sista! Thanks for making it real ;-)

April 17, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

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