“Place the mask over your face, oxygen will begin to flow immediately into the mask. Place the mask on yourself first, and then help those around you.” Anyone who’s flown on a commercial passenger airplane has heard the “put on your oxygen mask first” speech. Your stewardess knows if you don’t get the oxygen you need, there’s no way you’ll be able to assist others around you. This old airline approach can be a great teaching tool for women when it comes to heart health.
Women make nearly 80 percent of health care decisions for their families, and are more likely to be the caregivers if a family member falls ill; yet in a Kaiser Women’s Health Survey 23 percent of women report they went without care they needed because they couldn’t find time to see a doctor. Women are notorious for putting aside their own medical needs to take care of work and home. When it comes to heart health, women are also more likely to ignore symptoms like shortness of breath, unexplained extreme fatigue, and upper back pain (all of which are warning signs of a heart attack). The price tag of self-neglect can be costly. One in four women in the U.S. dies from heart disease, but with the right information and action, heart disease can be managed and prevented. Here are three actions you can take this Heart Month to put your ticker in first place.
Once you get cardiovascular disease you’ll always have it, but it’s not a death sentence. There’s much you can do to ensure you’re around for your family and friends, and it all begins with listening to your heart – and in this case, your stewardess. For heart healthy recipes, heart health tips and more information about the Heart & Vascular Institute visit www.OsceolaRegional.com/HerHeart.