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Empowering Women to Take Action Against Heart Disease

September 3, 2013
Originally published Feb. 20, 2012
 
As women, we don't always put our health as a top priority. For many of us, we are busy being a mother, wife and daughter, while working full time. We juggle dropping one child off at dance lessons then the next at a t-ball game. Even though it is difficult to fit in the time to exercise for 30 minutes or make a nutritious meal, we should take the time to make our health one of our top priorities.
 
District 8-1 Health Director, William Grow, M.D., F.A.C.P, is traveling around the district throughout February to spread this message to as many women as possible through Go Red for Women heart disease lectures.

Since the 1980's, women have been dying at a higher rate from heart disease than men; although the stigma of heart disease is more often associated with men. Women tend to ignore the warning signs of a heart attack, attributing it to menopause or stress. But women must understand that heart disease is our number one killer.
 
"While the message of heart disease prevention is typically the same for men and women, women tend to ignore the signs and symptoms of heart disease more often than men," states Dr. Grow. "Many women feel they will be embarrassed if they get to the ER and the pain they feel isn't related to heart disease, but there is nothing to be embarrassed about if someone thinks they may be having a heart attack."

Several other reasons women do not tend to take action against heart disease include: we don't think we're old enough to have a heart attack, we are already stressed with work and other day to day commitments, we are just too busy to make any life style changes, and we are just too tired. 
 
Participants of the heart disease lectures learned prevention methods of heart disease, such as not smoking, being physically active, knowing their family history, controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol and eating nutritiously. "Begin today," states Dr. Grow. "Don't wait for tomorrow, don't wait for next year. Only you can improve your health to prevent heart disease in the future." 
 
Dr. Grow also encouraged participants to not be afraid to ask their doctor questions. "Write down your questions before you go into your appointment," stated Dr. Grow. "Most people forget what they want to ask when they get there. This is your time with your doctor." 
 
Participants are encouraged to continue spreading the word to their family members, friends and coworkers. "If I can get this message through to just one person at each of these presentations, then it has been worth it," says Dr. Grow. 
 
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can save the life of any woman or man. Take the time to make sure both the women and men in your life know what to look for and how to prevent heart disease.