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Go Red For Women - Bringing Awareness to Cardiovascular Disease in Women

Cardiovascular disease is the greatest health threat to women. American Heart Association’s signature women’s initiative, Go Red for Women, is designed to increase the awareness for women’s heart health and improve the health of women globally.

However, most life-threatening results from heart disease, such as stroke and heart attacks, can mostly be prevented.

Let’s first understand what heart disease is:

Heart disease can be several different types of heart conditions with the most common type as coronary artery disease (CAD). The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart and can lead to a heart attack.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

People may not initially know they have heart disease until they have a heart attack, heart failure, or an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

  • Heart attack: Chest pain or heaviness, upper neck or back pain, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

  • Arrhythmia-irregular heartbeat: Fluttering feelings in the chest (commonly called palpitations).

  • Heart failure: Shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins, and fatigue with minimal activity.

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

Again, heart disease can be preventable by avoiding these risk factors. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About 47% of people have at least 1 of these risk factors. Some other conditions such as diabetes and lifestyle choices, such as overweight, obesity, low physical activity, and excessive alcohol use can put people at a higher risk for heart disease.

What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or various types of heart surgery. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that can be managed as an outpatient or even inpatient when needed to regain strength and function, includes the following:

  • Physical activity

  • Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medications as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking

  • Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and concerns about your heart health and also ways to improve your mental health affected by recent heart issues.

A multi-disciplinary team may help you through cardiac rehab, including your health care team, exercise, and nutrition specialists, physical therapists, and counselors or mental health professionals.

Contact us at Shreveport Rehabilitation Hospital to learn more about your options for inpatient cardiac, stroke, or medical rehabilitation.

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