Cardiovascular Disease Prevention In Women – Topic of the Month, November 2015

Article by Tyler Bastianelli
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Doctor Paul KennedyMany women (and men) think that cardiovascular disease will either happen to them or it won’t. Heart health issues are usually considered to be male dominated in terms of frequency and severity. But the truth is that cardiovascular deaths in men over the last two decades has declined a bit while cardiovascular disease in women has continued to outpace men in terms of the number of deaths related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as heart attack and stroke. There also appears to be a higher rate of heart disease mortality rates for women based on ethnicity that shows that, of the four larger ethnic groups, African American females have higher rates of CVD than do white females (about 30% higher) while Hispanic and Asian women have somewhat lower rates (approx. 15 -40% lower than Caucasian women).

Many of the individuals that have cardiovascular disease also have many, if not all, of the symptoms of “Metabolic Syndrome” (see Archive) which is defined as three or more of the following five symptoms: a waist circumference equal to or greater than 35 inches (known as Abdominal Obesity); High Triglycerides (fat in the blood ); Low HDL cholesterol(a lipoprotein that helps to reduce fat levels in the blood);Elevated Blood Pressure (greater than 130/85);and Fasting Glucose (blood “sugar”) level above 100mg/dl, should make sure that they see their doctor as often as necessary to determine if these blood “markers” are elevated. Ignoring the presence of these factors, most of which are preventable and/or reversible via proper diet and exercise, can and will promote reduced health and wellness and even early death. Typical causes of these symptoms over time are a poor diet (generally high in fat and refined sugar), smoking, overweight or obesity and lack of regular exercise.

As one can easily see, preventing cardiovascular disease is possible for almost everyone. In many, if not most, cases of cardiovascular disease, a reduction of just 10% of body weight (if needed) can, in many cases, reduce these symptoms by over 50%. A healthier diet or eating plan AND regular exercise can significantly reduce many of the diseases and conditions listed above and can even extend lifespan. And don’t we all want to live longer AND healthier. The numbers don’t lie so be honest with yourself regarding your health and fitness levels. If possible, work with a certified professional trainer that can help to improve your heart and circulatory system as well as help control or (if needed) reduce your body weight. And give yourself some time to improve. A lifetime of neglect can’t be corrected in a few weeks so be patient with respect to your rate of weight loss or your new and improved level of fitness. You owe it to yourself and to your family. And as I always say, “Exercise IS Medicine!”.

I’m Dr. Paul Kennedy and that’s the “Be Fit, Stay Fit” Topic of the Month for November 2015.

Good luck with YOUR program. I KNOW you can do it!

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