Despite increasing awareness, more than half of all American women still don't know that heart disease is the number one killer of women. In most cases, though, it can be prevented by making effective lifestyle changes.
Sister to Sister: Everyone Has a Heart Foundation encourages women to get a heart-health check — screenings for their cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels along with their body mass index.
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"Women need to be advocates for their own heart health," said Dr. Roger Blumenthal, director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease and Sister to Sister's special medical adviser.
"It's especially critical because more women die from heart disease than men. Also, women's symptoms are sometimes quite different than they are for men," Dr. Blumenthal explained.
Sister to Sister will provide free heart screenings and heart-healthy information on Friday, February 17, 2006 on National Woman's Heart Day® during fun, interactive health fairs held in many of the largest U.S. cities.
(Click on the city on the left side of this screen to find out details about the health fair in your city.)
A Heart Screening Is Easy!
- A simple heart screening test can identify whether a woman is at risk for heart disease.
- The screening checks these risk factors for heart disease:
- Total cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol -- the "good" cholesterol
- Blood glucose -- which tests for diabetes
- Blood pressure
- Waist circumference and body mass index
- The screening and on-site results from start to finish only take 10 to 15 minutes.
- The screening only involves a simple finger prick.
- With the drop of blood from your finger prick, you can learn your cholesterol levels and blood glucose.
- You do not need to fast, so you can eat or drink beforehand.
- Your blood pressure will be checked by using a cuff that is put around your upper arm and inflated.
- Your waist circumference is taken with a tape measure. A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more has a higher risk of heart disease.
- Your body mass index is calculated using your height and weight. This tells whether you are of optimal weight, overweight or obese.
- When you get your results, you'll know if you're at risk for heart disease. If you are, take action!