Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Heart Disease is the number one killer of African American women. It is a cluster of diseases of the heart and the blood vessel system in the heart. Coronary heart disease is the most common; it affects the blood vessels of the heart. A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel is blocked for more than 20 minutes. Heart disease takes the lives of thousands of minority women every year. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, black women are 35 percent more likely than white women to die from it.
Leading causes of heart disease are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, and smoking. Studies have proven that black women are less likely to be diagnosed with the disease because they don’t receive the same tests and treatments. Two major signals of heart disease are high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. African American adults are 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure.
Signs of heart disease include pain or discomfort in the chest area for more than 20 minutes, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea and feeling faint. Women can also look for symptoms like unusual tiredness, problems breathing, trouble sleeping and indigestion. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states that almost two-thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.
Knowing your personal risk factors and including exercise in your daily routine can change your risk for heart disease. Heart disease can be prevented. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states that women can lower their risk up to 82 percent by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
For more information on heart disease and ways to reduce your risk, visit the American Heart Association at www.americanheart.org, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services at http://www.womenshealth.gov/ or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention at www.cdc.gov.