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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Black Women Remain At Highest Risk For Heart Disease: What 3 Things Can They Do?

Black Women and Heart Attacks

Heart disease is a major health concern in the United States. In 2008, it represented 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. Heart disease is the cause of a third of all deaths in women. African-American women have higher rates of some risk factors for heart disease. During February, which is American Heart Month, much information is available to raise awareness of women's heart disease. Here are three key ways in which women can help lower their risk for heart disease:

1) Eat Healthy: Eat more fruits and vegetables. The recommended amount depends on gender and age. A 25-year-old male who does about 30 minutes of exercise per day should have a minimum of two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables every day. The same age female should have two cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables. The requirement stays the same for a man at age 50; however, for the woman at age 50, the requirement changes to 1.5 cups fruit and 2.5 cups vegetables. A nutritional guide can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.

2) Stop Smoking: Smoking is a major cause of heart disease for both men and women. Almost 20 percent of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking. So, kick the habit now!

3) Exercise: Keeping the body moving through exercise is important to lowering the risk for heart disease. Exercise improves many areas that are considered risk factors for heart disease.In fact, research shows that the death for heart attack patients who started and maintained a regular exercise program was reduced by up to 25 percent. Exercise lowers blood pressure, weight, stress, and bad cholesterol but increases good cholesterol and oxygen to the body. About 30 minutes a day is all that is needed.

Other important practices include regular checkups with a primary physician, controlling stress, and lowering salt intake to just 1,500 mg a day, watching out for foods loaded with salt, like pizza, snacks, processed foods, and fast food.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.