Friday, March 5, 2021

HEALTHIER YOU: Knowing the risk of heart disease

February 8, 2021 by  
Filed under Health

Knowing the risk of heart disease

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

We celebrate Black History Month in February, and recognize the rich contributions of Black people all year around. That is our constant.

But we also have to recognize the challenges facing the Black community — and one of the most consequential is the prevalence of heart disease.

African-American women die from heart disease more than any other racial group. There are several types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease and heart attack.

Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a man’s disease, almost as many women as men die each year of heart disease in the United States. Heart disease and stroke is the number-one killer in women, and stroke disproportionately affects African-Americans. Importantly, African-American women are less likely than Caucasian women to be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death.

Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and a family history of heart disease are all greatly prevalent among African-Americans — and are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. What’s more, African-American women have almost two times the risk of stroke than Caucasians, and more likely to die at an earlier age when compared to women of other ethnicities.

Some other unsettling stats about heart disease as it relates to Black women are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 African-American women annually.
  • Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.
  • Only 1 in 5 African-American women believes she is personally at risk.
  • Only 52 percent of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Only 36 percent of African-American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.

There are some take-control measures and practices that can reduce heart disease. For starters, lower the amount of salt and sodium you eat. In fact, make a serious effort to improve your eating habits by learning about healthy eating, and healthy cooking skills. And of course, if you’re not already active, get moving.

Be aware of warning signs of stroke that can include: sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg. Especially, on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache with no known cause.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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