2004-03-19 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Heart Truth
By Dr. Nancy Gahles

Health & Harmony


DR. Nancy gahlesDR. Nancy gahles

By Dr. Nancy Gahles

Heart Truth

The truth is, according to research, that women are more worried about cancer than heart disease. The American Heart Association reveals that only 13 percent of women believe that heart disease is their greatest health risk.

The truth is, heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women. Heart disease includes coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, angina and other conditions.

The truth is that some heart disease risk factors are in our control and some are not. Risk factors associated with a family history of heart disease are a given and must be evaluated in the context of your individual lifestyle and present state of health. Risk factors that can be controlled are smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity and diabetes. Heart disease risk factor screenings are a must for evaluating your susceptibility BEFORE symptoms arise. This is especially important for women in the perimenopausal and meno pausal stages in life as the loss of estrogenic activity increases our risk factor for heart disease.

"It is important to encourage every woman to talk to her doctor about her risks for heart disease and to start taking action to lead a heart healthy life," said Barbara Alving, M.D., Acting Director, NHLBI.

"The Heart Truth" is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood In stitute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Ser vices. From March to May, Heart Truth" Road Show will visit five metropolitan cities to provide free heart health screenings. The Road Shows are not coming to New York but I will keep you posted if they do. The traveling exhibit in cludes the Red Dress collection. These are dresses designed by Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera and Oscar De la Renta. The Red Dress is the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. It is a red alert that heart disease is the #1 killer of women—and an urgent reminder to every woman to care for her heart.

For more information about "The Heart Truth" and its Red Dress symbol, please visit www. Hearttruth.gov.

For more information on Comple men tary and Alternative approaches to heart health, please e-mail askDrNancy@aol.com.

Heart disease is preventable, so put on your red dress, baby and increase awareness! Thank God multitasking is our forte! And, as I always say, "To be a woman85it’s not for the faint of heart!"


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