Spring 2013 : Matters of the Heart - by Kate Ferguson

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Matters of the Heart

by Kate Ferguson

Some women still believe that heart disease is more of a man-killer, it's not.

A stressed-out, chain-smoking man who eats crappy food and is inundated with work—that is how many women envision heart attack candidates. And although it is true that the prevalence of coronary artery disease among women is lower before menopause, ladies’ risk rise after they go through this change of life.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) begins when cholesterol—a waxy, fat-like substance—forms clots in a coronary artery. These arteries supply the heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood, and clots can obstruct this life-sustaining process.

As women approach age 75, their risk of CAD becomes equal to that of men. What’s more, CAD is the leading cause of women’s death and disability after menopause. The risk factors for women developing CAD are the same as in men: high blood pressure, increased blood cholesterol, diabetes, a family history of CAD at a young age and smoking cigarettes.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women. But the good news is that it’s preventable. The tips they offer to women are simple:

•    Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to learn your personal risk of heart disease.

•    Quit smoking. Just one year after you quit, you can cut your risk of CAD by 50 percent.

•    Start an exercise program. Just a 30-minute walk each day can take you miles away from the risk of heart attack and stroke.

•    Modify your eating habits. For example, use lower-fat or no-fat ingredients. These healthy substitutions can help you cut down on saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol without forcing you to give up the delicious foods you love. Also, reach for healthier snacks and opt for smarter food preparation methods (think baked instead of fried).

That’s right, ladies. Heart disease isn’t only a man thing. These easy fixes can make a real difference in lowering your heart disease risk too.

Search: heart disease, women, heart attack, Coronary artery disease, CAD

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Table of Contents
Risky Business
Like many women, Star Jones didn't consider herself at risk of heart disease. That changed when she suddenly experienced shortness of breath, fatigue and intense heart palpitations.

Matters of the Heart
Some women still believe that heart disease is more of a man-killer, it's not.

Race, Gender and Incarceration
Drivers of huge health care disparities

Tough Stuff
People in prison face must overcome many obstacles in order to access health care, and remain healthy.

Sandwich Smarts
What you place between two slices of bread can pack a powerful nutritional punch.

Dress It Up With Veggies
One way to pack a plain ol' sandwich with taste and nutrition is to pile on seasoned cooked vegetables.

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Stuff We Love-Spring 2013
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Editor's Letter-Spring 2013
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The Right Solution
Baby boomers take note: The CDC recommends that you get tested for hepatitis C, but know that a slew of new treatment options are on the way.

Stop Singing the HIV Blues
Unaddressed depression can worsen the physical health of people living with the virus, and bring them dangerously close to AIDS.

Know Your Rights
Can a hospital or doctor refuse treatment if you have HIV?

Big Brother & Breathing
Privacy vs. asthma relief

Quitting Time
Folks are fired up over the alleged health benefits of electronic cigarettes.

Where’s My Cigarettes?
Smoking is linked to memory decline in people 50 and older.

In Stitches
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Tight on Time?
Who isn't, but you can still get fit on a hectic schedule.

Feel-good Foods
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Learn the difference to better control your weight.

Exercise Your Options
Know what's best to eat before you work out.

Give Dryness the Slip
If sex hurts, maybe your body needs a little something extra.

Ask Your Family Doctor-Spring 2013
Rachael L. Ross, MD, PhD, a.k.a. Dr. Rachael answers your questions.

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How I Learned to Breathe Again
Even though Jeanette P., a native of Belize, loved city living, too much time spent cooped up indoors made her feel sick.

The Expert Says-Spring 2013
David Rutstein, MD, MPH, former acting U.S. deputy surgeon general, says too many activities have moved indoors and kids need to get back to nature.


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