The Female Heart: Protect it at Any Age

Adventist Health invites you to attend Women's Works, our free Women's Health Fair on May 1, 2014, starting at 1 p.m. at the Adventist Medical Center Amphitheater.

Join our team of qualified physicians to learn how you can improve your health and well-being. We'll discuss ways to reduce the effects of aging, how to identify appropriate dietary supplements and nutrition, and learn about healthy ways to cope with stress.

The event will also include fabulous door prizes, free shoulder massages, healthy food samples and a number of exhibitors with sample products to help improve your life. Space is limited, so register today by calling (971) 202-2448 or visiting our website.

If you're a woman, the most important thing you should know about heart disease is this: You don't need gray hair to get itor die from it.

It's true that heart disease primarily kills women 65 and older. In fact, it's the No. 1 cause of death for American women in that age group. However, the disease is also the second leading cause of death among women 45 to 64 years old and the third among women 25 to 44 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That's why it's crucial to protect your heart no matter how many birthdays you've celebrated. The CDC and the American Heart Association recommend that you:

Choose a heart-healthy diet. Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and whole-grain breads. Heart-smart protein options include lean meats, fish and beans.

Limit fat. Try to limit the overall amount of fat in your foods, and replace saturated and trans fats (such as butter or partially hydrogenated oils) with healthy olive and canola oils. Also, pay attention to portion size.

Move more. Most adults need to do at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking) every week, along with exercises that work all the major muscle groups two or more days a week.

Make it personal. Talk with your doctor about specific risk factors that can raise your risk of developing heart disease and what you can do to lower them. Those risks might include:

Also, ask your doctor how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attackthey are sometimes different in women than in menand what to do if you or someone else has them.