LITTLE ROCK, AR – There are new heart disease and stroke prevention guidelines that everyone can follow, especially women.
Some women may not even know they are headed down the path to a heart attack, so getting checked is vital.
“I went on a lowfat diet and lost weight,” says Alamae Harris.
This became her healthier way of living after a doctor told her she would have heart problems in her early 40’s.
“I don’t know if he forseen that in the future, but sure enough I did,” she says.
Alamae found out while out on a routine run.
“My husband and I used to jog at Watson Chapel High School. At some point he would say, ‘Okay Alamae, let’s just jog it on in.’I started feeling a heaviness in my chest,” she recalls.
That led her to Dr. Joe L. Hargrove, a cardiologist with Baptish Health, who says it’s not uncommon for women to have no symptons of heart problems.
“Unfortunately, we see a lot of that in females. Because heart disease in females is primarily asymptomatic. A lot of females like Ms. Harris don’t realize they are on the verge of having a heart attack,” he explains.
In fact, Dr. Hargrove says 62 percent of women who die of heart disease have had no symptons.
Now, there are new heart disease and stroke prevention guidelines and it no longer just involves knowing your good and bad cholestorol numbers. Doctors do a risk assessment based on age, gender, sex, good and bad cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, diabetes and smoking history.
“Those are placed in the risk factor calculator and it gives you a score, if the score is 7 point 5 or greater, then you’re at risk for developing cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Hargrove.
Alamae says she continues to do what Dr. Hargrove tells her to do. That includes eating right and taking her medication.
“Because I have grandkids and I want to stay around as long as I can,” she says.
Dr. Hargrove says the new guidelines are also asking women to start as early as 20 years old to get checked for heart disease.