You may have noticed that I have a Go Red For Women link on the sidebar. Women and heart disease is an issue that's...well...close to my heart. In spite of my relatively young age and healthy eating habits, my awful family history of heart disease and recent bloodwork indicate that I'm at high risk. I've been given a few months to see if I can change my risk factor through diet and excercise. If not, I'll have to start taking a prescription med. In the meantime, I'm a baby aspirin-a-day gal.
But that's not all. I've personally known young, seemingly healthy women who have died from heart attacks. One of them was one of the physical education instructors at my highschool, and she was in her thirties. An avid jogger at that. Another was a neighbor. A mother the same age as myself. Talk about a wake-up call.
Tomorrow is National Wear Red Day. Visit the Go Red For Women site and explore the information and informative links provided, including one to the American Heart Association's Heart Attack Risk Calculator. Pick up a copy of Prevention Magazine's latest issue (February 2011) dedicated to women and heart disease, and read up on the latest screening tests your doctor may not have mentioned. Hear stories of young heart attack/stroke survivors and how their conditons were missed. (I subscribe to Prevention Magazine, but you can find it in your grocery store aisle). The latest RWR (Romance Writer's Report for RWA members) has numerous articles on staying healty, as well as Go Red For Women heart disease facts.
You are your best advocate. Be a well informed patient. Ask for those tests. If you think that your doctor is brushing off your concern, find another doctor if at all possible. Heart disease kills 1 out of 3 women a year. It's the number one killer of women over age 20.
Be your own proactive heroine.
Stay healthy. Be aware. Spread the word.
Wear red on February 4th! I'll be sporting my Go Red For Women red dress pin as well :)