HEALTH WATCH: Lifestyle changes can lower your risk of heart disease

Health Watch
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Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in this country, responsible for about 1 in every 4 female deaths.  About 5.8 percent of all white women, 7.6 percent of black women, and 5.6 percent of Mexican women have coronary heart disease.

Some of the risk factors for heart disease are hypertension, diabetes, history of smoking, problems with family history, and weight.

Heart disease runs in Shelia Lovely’s family. Her father died of congestive heart failure and her mother had open-heart surgery. Two of brothers had massive strokes. Lovely became a vegetarian, started walking and shed 100 pounds.

Of the ten siblings in Juanita Davis’ family, nine of them have had some brush with heart disease, some fatal. Davis had angioplasty and a stint and latet open heart surgery. She also changed her eating habits and became serious about exercise.

Health experts say women should know the signs of a heart attack. They differ in men and women. The American Heart Association has an 87 page Scientific Statement about the differences between the sexes. The document reveals both sexes have chest pain, but women can have shoulder, back or jaw pain, or may mistake heart attacks for heartburn or the flu.

To learn more about heart disease click here.

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