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risk factors that can be controlled!

  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • high blood cholesterol
  • lack of regular activity
  • obesity or overweight
  • diabetes

risk factors you can’t be controlled

  • age
  • gender
  • heredity (family health history)
  • race
  • previous stroke or heart attack
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What are the benefits of heart-healthy eating?

Eating a heart-healthy diet is important for managing your blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart attack, stroke and other health threats.

Get quality nutrition from healthy food sources

Aim to eat a diet that’s rich in:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole-grains
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Skinless poultry and fish
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils

Limit:

  • Saturated and trans fats
  • Sodium
  • Red meat (if you do eat red meat, compare labels and select the leanest cuts available)
  • Sweets and sugar
  • sweetened beverages


Do you know the most critical numbers for your heart health? That knowledge could just save your life.

Women should follow a healthy lifestyle with all of the following:

  • Blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg and not on medicine for blood pressure
  • Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL and not on medicine for cholesterol
  • Fasting blood glucose less than 100 mg/dL and not on medicine for blood sugar
  • Body mass index less than 25 kg/m2 – Never smoked or quit over one year ago
  • Performs 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week
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1

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables including whole-grain and high-fiber foods.

2

Eat fish at least twice a week, preferably oily fish, or talk to your health care provider about taking omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil) supplements. Pregnant women should avoid fish with high mercury levels.

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3

Do your best to eat less salt (sodium). Try to limit your sodium to 1500 mg a day.

4

Eat very little saturated fat (such as fat from meat, cheese, and butter): less than 7% of your total calories a day. • Eat less than 150 mg of cholesterol a day.

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5

Avoid trans-fatty acids. No trans-fats is the goal.

6

Stop drinking alcohol!

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Stop Smoking Cigarettes

Get counseling, nicotine replacement, or drug therapy (if needed) and find a group program to help you stop smoking.

Exercise and Weight Loss

Get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, such as brisk walking. If you are trying to lose weight, then you will need 60 to 90 minutes a day.

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Ask your doctor to evaluate you before resuming sexual activity.

If you’ve had heart failure or a heart attack, cardiac rehabilitation and regular physical activity can reduce the risk of complications related to sexual activity.021.

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If you’re thinking about starting birth control or getting pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor first.

Don’t skip the medications that could improve cardiovascular symptoms because you’re concerned they could impact your sex drive or function. Your heart health should come first!

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If you’re a post-menopausal woman with cardiovascular disease, it’s generally safe to use estrogen that’s topically or vaginally inserted for the treatment of painful intercourse.

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After the onset of menopause certain risk factors increase around the time of menopause and a high-fat diet, smoking or other unhealthy habits begun earlier in life can also take a toll.

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Family History and Heart Disease, Stroke

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Knowing your family’s health history can help you avoid both heart disease and stroke – the  No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death. Just because your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, does not mean that you will certainly have the same diseases, it just means that you are more likely to have them.

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Ask your doctor before resuming sexual activity

Don’t be SHY!



Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) accounts for more than 25%  of infant deaths that are caused by birth defects.

Oximetry screening is a low-cost, highly-effective, and painless bedside test for newborns that can be completed in as little as 45 seconds.

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The screening is administered using a pulse oximeter device, which is a light that shines through the skin to measure the percentage of oxygen in the blood.

All parents should ask for a pulse oximetry screening to be administered on all newborns.



Unknown cause:

the exact cause of most heart defects is still unknown. Although the reason defects occur is presumed to be genetic, only a few genes have been discovered that have been linked to the presence of heart defects. So they’re likely due to a combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors.

Genetic syndrome:

Some people with congenital heart defects have a specific genetic condition that can include other health problems. They may or may not know that they have such a condition. The chance for their child to also have this condition can be as high as 50%.

Single gene:

Rarely, congenital heart defects are caused by changes in a single gene. Often when this is the case more than one person in the family has a heart defect. The chance for another family member to have a heart defect can be as high as 50%.

Environmental exposure:

Heart defects can also be caused by something your mother was exposed to in her pregnancy, such as an infection or a drug. In this case, the chance that your children will have heart defects is no higher than that of the average person.

Please consult your cardiologist to know more about your condition.

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A congenital heart defect is a problem with the structure of the heart. It is present at birth. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. The defects can involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart.

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millions of people alive today have some form of congenital heart defect, children are born with a heart defect each year.

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What is Afib?

Have you ever felt your heart flutter, race or skip a beat? Most of us have at some point, But if this happens more frequently, you may have atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a problem with the heart’s rhythm – the way it beats. When someone is “in Afib,” the heartbeats in a rapid, chaotic way.

What are some of the signs & symptoms?

Have you ever felt your heart flutter, race or skip a beat? Most of us have at some point, But if this happens more frequently, you may have atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a problem with the heart’s rhythm – the way it beats. When someone is “in Afib,” the heartbeats in a rapid, chaotic way.

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very rapid or irregular heartbeats – some women say they feel their heart flip-flopping in their chests, skipping a beat or fluttering

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Listen to your body, Afib can occur every once and a while (called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation) or all the time (chronic atrial fibrillation).

Either way, be sure to tell your health care provider about all of your symptoms.

Millions of Women live with atrial fibrillation (Afib). Even though it is more common in men, women with Afib are more likely to have a stroke. Untreated, Afib can also lead to heart failure and chronic fatigue.

Risk factors:

Afib is more likely as you get older. On average, women tend to develop Afib around 75 years of age (vs 67 for men). However, younger women can also have it. Other risk factors can include:

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How is Afib diagnosed?

Your doctor will first ask how you have been feeling and perform a physical exam. If you’ve noticed chest pains, breathlessness or a racing heart, be prepared to tell him or her when they happen (laying down, climbing stairs, etc.) and how often.

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There are a number of things you can do to live well with Afib and prevent problems.

A

Pay attention to risk factors for Afib, heart disease and stroke. Make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are stable.

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B

Eat a healthy diet.

C

Exercise regularly and monitor your weight.

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D

Know what triggers an episode. Doing so will help you prevent or better anticipate Afib.
Common risks that triggers an AFib episode: alcohol, caffeine, upper respiratory infections and extreme stress.

E

Learn how to pace yourself. Most women living with Afib will tell you it is a livable condition

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F

Have a plan to stay calm. Anxiety can make episodes much worse.

G

Take your medications as prescribed.

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H

Know your risk of stroke & other health problems

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Possible treatments include lifestyle changes and medications and/or medical procedures

  • blood-thinning medications to prevent clots
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  • heart rate control medications that bring the heart rate to a normal level
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  • heart rhythm control medications that restore or maintain normal heart rhythm
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  • electrical cardioversion –paddles are applied to the chest to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm
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  • catheter ablation – wires are inserted into veins in the leg or arm and threaded to the heart to alter abnormal areas that may be causing the abnormal heart rhythm
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  • surgical maze – small cuts are made in the heart, creating a “maze” that prevents the abnormal beats from controlling the heart. This is a very effective treatment, but because this requires open heart surgery, it is often used when other options have failed.
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  • It’s not a one-time episode!

    Afib is often an ongoing condition that needs to be managed. Women say having regular appointments with their cardiologists and taking medicines to steady their hearts is something you need to follow to maintain a healthy life.



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Atherosclerosis is often referred to as “hardening of the arteries.” .It’s the process in which fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and other substances build up in the inner lining of an artery. This buildup is called plaque.

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Atherosclerosis is a slow, complex disease that typically starts in childhood and often progresses when people grow older. This disease progresses rapidly in some people in their 20s. In others, it doesn’t become a threat until they’ve reached their 50s or 60s.

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Causes of atherosclerosis

People with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease have an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Other risk factors for atherosclerosis include:

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Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke (the chemicals in cigarettes can cause damage to blood vessels accelerating the development of atherosclerosis)

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The inner lining of the artery, called the endothelium, can be damaged due to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, toxic substances in cigarette smoke, high sugar levels, and other factors in the blood. High blood pressure can also cause damage to the inner lining of an artery. Once the blood vessel is damaged, atherosclerosis begins and a plaque forms.

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the progress of the condition

Because of the damage, fats, cholesterol, platelets, cellular debris and calcium begin to deposit in the artery walls. These substances may stimulate the cells of the artery wall to produce still other materials. This results in more cells accumulating in the innermost layer of the artery wall where the atherosclerotic lesions form. These cells accumulate, and many divide. At the same time, fat builds up within and around these cells. They also form connective tissue. This buildup is called plaque. It usually affects large and medium-sized arteries. These cells and surrounding material thicken the endothelium significantly. The artery’s diameter shrinks and blood flow decreases, reducing oxygen supply.

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How atherosclerotic plaque causes damage?

Plaques that rupture cause the formation of blood clots that can block blood flow or break off and travel to another part of the body. In either of these cases, if a clot blocks a blood vessel that feeds the heart, it causes a heart attack. If it blocks a blood vessel that feeds the brain, it causes a stroke. If blood supply to the arms or legs is reduced or blocked, it can cause difficulty walking and eventually gangrene.

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Stroke and atherosclerosis

There are two types of ischemic stroke caused by blood clots, narrowing of blood vessels to the brain caused by atherosclerosis or other particles. Atherothrombotic stroke is the most common stroke. It occurs when a blood clot forms on a atherosclerotic plaque within a blood vessel in the brain and blocks blood flow to that part of the brain.

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Cerebral embolism occurs when a wandering clot or some other particle, called an embolus, is carried by the bloodstream until it lodges in an artery leading to or in the brain and blocks the flow of blood. The embolism could be due to a piece of clot or plaque that broke off from an atherosclerotic plaque. However, most embolic strokes are due to blood clots that form during atrial fibrillation and enter the bloodstream.

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