To raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and women, today is Wear Red Day! Today, we are sporting our red - and doesn’t it make the day seem brighter? - and remembering those women in our lives who have been affected by cardiovascular disease. And that’s a lot of women!
Remember cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer of women and men over 50. You are much more likely to face cardiovascular disease in your lifetime than to face breast cancer. So let’s review: What can we do to decrease our risk of heart and other cardiovascular diseases? If you smoke, stop. Enough said. Know your numbers and get those numbers into the healthy range:
- BMI – body mass index – a healthy weight coupled with an active lifestyle is a key way of lowering risk.
- Lipid profile – is your healthy cholesterol high? Your LDL or bad cholesterol low? Good for you! If not, talk with your doctor – diet and exercise can influence these. If that’s not enough, oral medications can help!
- Blood pressure – high blood pressure can be a silent killer – know your numbers and get them healthy!
- Fasting blood glucose – diabetes or pre-diabetes is a big risk factor in cardiovascular disease. If your number is high, diet or medications may be in order.
For those at risk for heart disease, a CT calcium score is another tool that can help your doctors assess the health of your heart vessels. This looks at the presence and amount of calcium in the arteries of your heart – a sign of arteries that might be blocked or become blocked. It compares the amount of calcium in your vessels to age-matched men or women. It can help guide or indicate the need for medications. So as you see all of those women (and men!) in red today, take a moment to think about your heart. Together let’s save some lives!!
Originally published 2/6/15 on mammographykc.com