AT A GLANCE
Cardiovascular disease, once considered a ‘man's disease,’ is the number one killer of women in Canada and worldwide.
Consider the facts:
In the past, it was believed that women's cardiovascular risk factors and symptoms differed from those of men. However, it may be that women experience and/or describe pain differently from men.
Women need to be educated about the symptoms of heart disease because they tend not to report symptoms to their doctors. And doctors need to recognize and diagnose heart disease in their women patients and provide them with the healthcare they need.
Cardiovascular disease can be prevented. We can learn about the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, and make choices that promote our heart health. For example, we can quit smoking, eat a heart-healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Equating exercise with medicine isn't just a reminder that physical activity is good for you. Research has shown that exercise is a powerful therapy that can help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, among other benefits.
High blood pressure – or hypertension – is common in both men and women, especially as we age. However, it tends to follow different patterns over the course of men’s and women’s lifetimes.
Heart attack, heart failure and stroke are different conditions that affect people in different ways. Dr. Paula Harvey, director of the cardiovascular research program at Women’s College Hospital, explains the difference.
New WCH research shows that fertility treatment is not associated with excess cardiovascular risk later in life. In fact, mothers who conceived using fertility treatment had significantly lower cardiovascular risks than other mothers.
Nicole Bourgeois, registered dietitian with the Family Practice Care Centre at Women’s College Hospital, discusses how much sodium we need, why too much can be a problem, and ways to reduce our sodium intake.
For someone who has been inactive for a while – maybe even for years – adopting a more active lifestyle can seem like a challenging ambition.
RESEARCH & NEWS
Do you have a personal story to tell about living with heart disease? Consider submitting it to Personal Stories to share your journey with others.
Share knowledge and talk about your health-related experiences with other women.
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