I mentioned in an earlier post about blood pressure being a silent killer. High cholesterol is another silent health risk that can be deadly. Do you have high cholesterol? According to a Center for Disease Control report more Americans are aware of their cholesterol levels, that’s great! Right?
Then why do nearly 1/6 United States Adults still have high total cholesterol?
Perhaps we need to take a closer look at cholesterol. You know the drill, Cholesterol 101. What is cholesterol? How can it be deadly? Today, let’s focus on LDL or the “bad” cholesterol and how if not managed properly can have health risks.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found in the fats (lipids) in your blood. While your body needs cholesterol to continue building healthy cells, having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
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I thought I was blessed with excellent health but a recent trip to the doctors proved otherwise–that I have pre-hypertension.
Because high blood pressure usually causes no symptoms until complications develop, it is known as the “silent killer.” While high blood pressure or hypertension was once thought of as a “man’s disease,” in fact women are as likely to suffer from this condition as men are. Furthermore, more women than men die from complications of high blood pressure because women often ignore or fail to detect their high blood pressure until it is too late.
I would actually argue with my physician that I was okay and I didn’t need any medications to lower my blood pressure. Guess I forgot from all my years of selling cardiovascular medications that uncontrolled high blood pressure can affect your target organs: arteries, brain, heart, kidneys and eyes.
When did this happen? When did the guidelines change? A quick Google search showed in 2004, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) revised the basic guidelines for what blood pressure numbers mean. Do you know what your blood pressure is?
When I think of February being the shortest month of the year and the only month with fewer than 30 days, many fun events/activities come to mind: Black History Month, Super Bowl (yay Ravens), Valentine’s Day, Ground Hog Day and President’s Day. However, something fairly new on the calendar in recent years is Heart Healthy Month. According to the annual national health awareness calendar, more specifically for women, “Go Red for Women” sponsored by the American Heart Association, with the purpose of raising awareness of heart disease in women. In the past when one heard statistics about heart disease, the attention always seemed geared toward men. But anyone can be at risk.
Since the “Go Red for Women” Campaign started 10 years ago, significant strides have been made in women’s heart disease. The death rate for women and heart disease has dropped in the last 10 years, women’s guidelines created by the American Heart Association have educated millions of healthcare professionals to recognize and treat heart disease in women, and the number of women aware of their No.1 killer has jumped from 22% to well over 50%.
As I mentioned on my “about” page of this blog, I’ve been in pharmaceutical sales for the past 15 years. My years in the pharmaceutical industry has afforded me great awareness and information on healthcare and staying healthy. I have been fortunate to sell in many different aspects that benefit our health including cardiovascular. Years ago, I promoted pharmaceuticals that focused on improving quality of life with “heart drugs.” Diseases of the heart include some of the following stroke, heart attack and coronary artery disease.
I would like to share a few key points that as women are gracefully aging, one need keep the following points in mind with regards to heart health: