It is that time of year again, to wear your red in support of continued research for Heart Disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer African-American women, it is deadlier than any of the cancers combined. The problem is that most people will make the decision to live healthier lives, only after they have had more than one emergency trip to the hospital, due to heart related issues. That doesn’t have to be you. You can start now, with living a better life. The thing that separates African-American women from the others, is our intake of salt. Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and a family history of heart disease are all greatly prevalent among African Americans and are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. What’s more, African American women have almost two times the risk of stroke than Caucasians, and more likely to die at an earlier age when compared to women of other ethnicities. Here are a few unsettling stats:
- Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 20,000 African American women annually.
- Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.
- Only 1 in 5 African American women believes she is personally at risk.
- Only 52 percent of African American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
- Only 36 percent of African American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk. (American Heart Association)
Your heart is the most important function of the body. Take better care of it and yourself. Every “beat” counts, so make yours count.