• Heart Month: Prevention and Signs of Heart Disease

    February 2021 marks the 57th anniversary of the first Heart Month. Originated in 1964, Heart Month was created to raise awareness for a disease which, at the time, caused over half of the US deaths. To spread awareness and knowledge on the topic, the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation hosted a webinar with Nina Morgan, Tampa Bay’s Vice President of Development, American Heart Association, and Artemis Emslie, CEO of CandenceRX.

    Heart disease can affect even the youngest and healthiest of people. With 1 in 3 women dying of heart disease, it is important to understand prevention and the signs for this disease.

    Know Your Numbers

    Numbers to track include

    • Blood pressure
    • Total cholesterol
    • Blood sugar
    • Weight

    Obtaining an annual physical and check-up with your physician is important to stay up to date with your body’s state of health. When visiting your doctor, ask what the numbers in your testing mean. Ask, “Am I where I should be?” Share your numbers with significant others, family members, or friends. We may not always be our best advocates, so sharing your numbers will help hold you accountable.

    Lifestyle

    Heart disease is 80% controllable and 20% uncontrollable. Diet, activity, and smoking status are the three main factors that account for the controllable prevention. Ensuring a healthy and balanced diet, frequent physical activity, and eliminating the use of nicotine will help lower your chances of getting this disease.

    Symptoms in Women

    Heart Attack

    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Jaw, neck or upper back pain
    • Chest pain, but not always
    • Pain or pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fainting
    • Indigestion
    • Extreme fatigue

    Stroke

    • Face drooping
    • Arm weakness
    • Speech difficulty
    • Vision problems
    • Trouble walking or lack of coordination
    • Severe headache without a known cause
    • General weakness
    • Disorientation & confusion or memory problems
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea or vomiting

    Getting Involved

    As of 1977, women of childbearing age were banned from being involved in early stage clinical trials for heart disease. The ban was lifted in the early 2000s allowing women to be involved. Since women were not involved in early research, there continues to be a lack of research for women and heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages women of all ages to get involved with research to help increase the knowledge we have for women. Research Goes Redis a program with the AHA providing a variety of levels for women to participate in research.

    Resources 

    The American Heart Association

    https://www.heart.org

    Research Goes Red

    https://www.projectbaseline.com/studies/gored/

    Through the Lens: Shining Light on Women’s Heart Health, Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxs70pehQ7c&feature=youtu.be

    Blog by: Melina Ressler, Intern, Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation

    Melina Ressler

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