This week I made an appointment to see a cardiologist. I’m doing all the right things each day to take care of my body. I’m not obese or overly sedentary. I don’t smoke or have a history of drug use. But, I am in my 40s now, and sad as it may be, there’s a killer out there to get me: heart disease.
I first became aware of its presence looming near my own life when in 2016, Carrie Fisher died of a heart attack while on a return flight to the United States. She was only 60 years old. So, I didn’t really think that I had to worry about my own cardiovascular health for at least another few years, at least, not aggressively.
That all changed when I was told that a woman who had taken care of me at a local spa for nearly a decade, was no longer worked there. A Google search of her name to find out where she might be lead me to discover that she had been permanently retired due to a heart attack that claimed her life at the young age of 40, leaving behind her 14-year old son and loving spouse.
She was thin! She exercised each day and never smoked. It was shocking, to say the least, but what really needs to be communicated to all women is the fact that heart disease and heart attack are the number silent threats to women in the United States. In fact, nearly 299,578 women died in 2017 of a heart attack. Only 56 percent of women, according to the Center for Disease Control, realize that the biggest killer to females at this time is heart disease, and it’s preventable.
Prevention includes early detection, so if you have any history of heart disease in the family, let your doctor know. Genetics play a role, but diet and exercise are key to overall heart health. High fiber foods, regular exercise, and avoid highly processed meals that are high in fat, salt, and sugar but low in fiber.