Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women living in this country. As I mentioned in my Differences Between the Fat Cells in Women and Men, pre-menopausal women are more efficient at removing digested fat from our bloodstream after a meal.
Our fluxing estrogen level make us do crazy things, but it also protects us from heart disease. Though it is rare for women under the age of 50 to have a heart attack, we are more likely to die from a heart attack than men.
And after menopause, all bets are off. Heart disease is an equal opportunity killer after the age of 50.
Weight Gain and Hearth Disease
Women who gained weight after the age of 18 increase their risk of an heart attack:
-gained 12-18 pounds? You have just increase your risk for a heart attack by 25%.
-gained 18-25 pounds? You have just increase your risk for a heart attack by 60%.
-gained more than 25 pounds? I am not sure you want to see this number…. you have just increase your risk for a heart attack by 200%!
If you are anything me, you are probably in denial. I keep thinking that maybe I was underweight at 18, so a 20 pound weight gain is just my body”s way of reaching its adult weight.
But I do not believe it. And you should not either.
What can Women do to Prevent Heart Disease?
Heart disease is controllable. The two biggest culprit is excessive weight gain and smoking. Exercising and controlling your weight lowers high cholesterol and blood pressure hence preventing heart disease. I am not talking about heart pounding and asthma inducing exercise here. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood or gardening.
I am not going to say anything more about smoking. I know it is bad for you. You know it is bad for you. It breaks my heart to say that I cannot get my dad to quit. Unless someone is really ready for it, you can show them all the facts and charts, appeal to his emotions, etc — they are not going to do anything. The strength to stop doing something that is killing you must come from within. Your external environment can only support your internal resolution to stop. <big sigh>
Metamucil is sponsoring a Beautify Your Heart program to spread heart disease awareness. Though the site does promote Metamucil products, it offers tips on lowering your cholesterol and some good prizes for joining the community they are trying to build.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by.
Photo by: Mykl Roventine.
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