(NC)—Cardiovascular disease is the # 1 killer of women in Canada and worldwide. Women are 10 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than from any other disease. And our risk is 4 times greater during and after menopause than before menopause.
The news is not all bad though. Following are 9 ways we can reduce our risk.
1. Take a daily supplement that is high in omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10, two powerful and proven ingredients that can help lower our risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids modulate the production of powerful hormone-like substances known as eicosanoids. Those produced by omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and reduce blood clotting, lowering the risk of heart attack.
If an attack does occur, it's less likely to be fatal. One study of heart attack survivors showed that if they took 1,000 mg of omega-3s daily in a capsule, they lowered their risk of dying from heart disease by 25 percent.
Omega-3 fats also lower blood triglycerides, reduce abnormal heart rhythms and the incidence of stroke, slow the buildup of artery-hardening plaques and lower blood pressure.
CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) levels decrease with age and are low in patients with chronic diseases such as heart conditions. CoQ10 is found in virtually every cell of the body, including the heart, and functions as a carrier that helps mitochondria produce adenosine triphophate (ATP), the fuel that energizes cells. Mitochondria are sometimes described as "cellular power plants" because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the heart muscle has the greatest concentration of mitochondria at five thousand per cell. Statin drugs, used for elevated cholesterol levels, deplete the body and heart of CoQ10.
2. We hear it all the time but if you smoke…QUIT. If you are a women age 50 or under and you smoke, your risk of dying from a heart attack is three times greater than that of an ex-smoker.
3. Get moving. Inactivity doubles our risk for heart disease. Our heart is a muscle that needs regular exercise to stay healthy (aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 - 50 minutes).
4. Maintain a healthy weight. The risk of a heart attack is three times higher in women who are overweight.
5. Lower your cholesterol. 40% of women 55 years old and older have elevated cholesterol. Choosing a diet low in fat and cholesterol can reduce blood cholesterol by as much as 5-20%.
6. Relax. In some people, stress raises their cholesterol level and blood pressure, two factors associated with heart disease.
7. Lower our blood pressure. 52% of women 45 years+ have elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure (over 140/90) causes blood to press too hard against the walls of your arteries, wearing down the lining of our arteries over time.
8. Keep your blood sugars normal. A woman with diabetes has 5 times the risk of heart disease. Diabetes can damage artery walls, increasing the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
9. Limit your alcohol. Drinking more than two drinks per day increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
- News Canada