Posts Tagged ‘heart health’


This woman has heart disease.

When you think of heart health, what pops into your head? A stereotypical image of a middle-aged male sporting a belly? Well, ladies, you might be surprised to hear that you or I could be just as likely to develop heart disease. In fact, cardiovascular disease is an equal opportunity killer. It is Canada’s leading cause of death among women AND men alike.

Women typically rally against “female killers” like cancers of the breast, ovary or cervix. Runs, walks, fundraisers and pink, lavender and grey ribbons abound. These are all great causes and health issues that women should continue to support and be aware of, but would it hurt to add one more? It might actually hurt more if we don’t. Because many women still think of cardiovascular disease as a man’s disease and may not be aware of their own risk factors, the disease can go unnoticed until it’s too late.

As a 27-year-old female, 5’10” and around 135 pounds, I don’t exactly look like the poster child for heart disease, but I have been monitoring my cholesterol since I was about 15-years-old. In addition to my inflexible gene, I was also given the high-cholesterol gene. When I say I have been “monitoring” my cholesterol, all I mean is that every year or two I get a blood test, get some results and nod as the doc tells me I need to do something about it through exercise and healthy eating or I may be forced to look at medication options in the next five to ten years.

I nod in understanding and stop eating Turtles chocolate ice cream for a while. I picture red wine, as I drink it, flowing through my veins, cleaning them out. Red wine is good for your heart right?? *Sigh* I can’t keep up.

But, as my friends and I head towards or past 30, I am starting to consider my health more. A few years ago someone told me that the body you have at 30 is the body you have for life. I don’t know if this is entirely true or not, but what has stuck with me is the notion that as I get older, I do have to pay more attention to my health. I will really only have me to blame in the end…and those darn genes, of course.

So, next Saturday, November 28, I am heading to St. Paul’s Hospital for a free heart health forum and health fair being held specifically for WOMEN!

Women’s Heart Health Forum & Health Fair

Saturday, November 28, 2009
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (doors open at 9:00 a.m.)
Health fair: 11:30 – 1:30
New Lecture Theatre, Level 1
St. Paul’s Hospital, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver

At the forum, leading cardiac experts from the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital will be speaking on:

• The journey from symptoms to treatment
• Pregnancy & heart health
• Coping with the risk factors of heart disease: a woman’s perspective
• What is a woman to do? Preventing cardiovascular disease in women

If you are interested, you can read the bios ahead of time: http://www.heartandlung.ca/women-s-heart-health-forum-speakers/.

After the forum, you can have your risk factors assessed and speak with dietitians, exercise therapists, psychologists and other experts. I plan on grilling these people about simple changes I can make, what all the numbers actually mean on my cholesterol test results and if eating twenty kalamata olives in one sitting might be bad for me…

The forum is free to the public but because space is limited, organizers are asking women to RSVP to nordano@providencehealth.bc.ca or 604-806-9139.

Share this with the women you know and take care of your heart!

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