Don't take your heart for granted. Women in the United States are just as vulnerable to heart disease as men. Almost 422,000 American women die from heart disease every year.
Approximately 1 out of 4 women who suffer heart attacks will die within one year compared to 1 in 5 men, according to the CDC website.
Black women have the highest risk of dying early from heart disease and stroke according to the CDC. Next in risk, are American Indian/Alaska Native, White, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women.
Make yourself familiar with some ways you can protect your heart health.
1) Healthy diet and exercise.
The FDA recommends that you go for low salt or low sodium foods. Avoid trans fats and decrease your sugar intake. Be aware that corn syrup, fructose, glucose and sucrose are all sugars.
Help your heart by keeping at a healthy weight. If you are overweight, bring it down. A healthy diet and regular exercise will make a difference.
Heartandstroke.com recommends that you get 150 minutes or more of aerobic activity that is moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity every week. You can break it up into 10 minute blocks or more.
2) Stay on top of any health issues you may have.
Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol? These conditions can leave you more prone to having heart disease. Follow your doctor's instructions and heed any cautions concerning medications, testing and blood sugar level.
Being more active can also help you manage any health conditions you live with. For instance, heightened activiy can help regulate blood pressure.
3) Don't smoke.
If you do smoke, do whatever it takes to quit.
4) Don't drink too much.
Keep alcohol consumption low or moderate.
5) Learn your family history.
Becoming familiar with any medical conditions in your family history allows you to educate yourself and protect yourself.
6) Recognize the signs of heart attack.
Both women and men may have arm, jaw or throat pain, nausea, or increased sweating. The most common symptom they may share is chest pain.