Know the risks for heart disease
The leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States is
cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke. They
kill an estimated 630,000 Americans each year.
disease can be prevented. American Heart Month is a good time to decide
what you can do to achieve a heart-healthy life.
most common type of heart problem is coronary artery disease (CAD),
which can lead to a heart attack. You can reduce your risk through
lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication, such as a statin.
The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women campaign urges
citizens to spread the message that heart disease is not only a man's
problem. More women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next
four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. Women once
believed breast cancer was their greatest health risk; new data show
that while one in 30 women die of breast cancer, one in three women die
of heart disease.
Eighty percent of all cardiac events
can be prevented if people made the right choices for their hearts. The
advice for both men and women is the same:
Watch your weight.
Control blood pressure.
Drink alcohol in moderation.
Get active and eat healthy.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a major cause of
Stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack)
happen when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or bursts. The
signs of a TIA are like a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes.
Numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body.
Confusion, or trouble speaking.
Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Trouble walking or loss of balance.
Severe headache with no known cause.
Don't wait more than five minutes
before calling 911 for help if you experience any of these signs.
month, we can rededicate ourselves to reducing the burden of heart
disease by taking steps to improve our own heart health and encouraging
our families to do the same.
It affects 2 percent of the population, but most
people don't know what it is.
Doctors aren't sure about what causes fibromyalgia (FM), but they do
know it's a rheumatic syndrome that can cause widespread pain in
muscles, tendons and connective tissues.
include the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, shins, elbows and
knees. Pain can spread out from these points. It can be minor at times,
or it can be serious.
Or pain might not be present at
all. This chronic condition may come and go for years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 2 percent of
the U.S. population has FM. More women than men have it, and it's most
likely to begin at mid life. It's the third most prevalent rheumatic
disorder in the United States and can occur along with other rheumatic
Treatment includes over-the-counter and
prescription medications. Workers are still able to do their jobs.
Self-care and a healthy lifestyle are essential in preventing flare-ups:
Reduce stress, avoid overexertion, exercise regularly (tai chi and yoga
are helpful), get enough sleep and eat wholesome foods.
Massage therapy can relax muscles, improve range of motion and relieve
stress and anxiety.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say if
you have FM, besides handling pain, you will need to deal with the
frustration of having a condition that's often misunderstood. In
addition to educating yourself about fibromyalgia, it's helpful to
provide your friends and co-workers with information.
It's also helpful to know you're not alone. Organizations such as the
National Fibromyalgia Association and the American Chronic Pain
Association will put you in contact with people who have had similar
Recently, the Mayo Clinic provided
information on polymyalgia rheumatica, which is similar to fibromyalgia.
Both are part of a collection of disorders known as rheumatic diseases.