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February 24, 2013

Healthy Woman program kicks off series

Preventing heart disease topic of Thursday’s discussion

By CHRISTIN COYNE

One in three women have some form of cardiovascular disease and, in 1984, women’s deaths due to heart disease surpassed men’s.

Those are statistics that the red and pink event of the spring, held Tuesday night at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center and organized by the Weatherford Regional Medical Center’s Healthy Woman program and Zonta Club of Parker County, was intended to help lower. 

After an evening begun with a wine and chocolate tasting, Weatherford doctors presented the packed room of women tips for keeping a healthy heart and preventing heart disease.

Even women who may not have had symptoms are at risk.

Sixty percent of women who died in a coronary event had no prior symptoms, Dr. Stephen Newman told the crowd.

Many of the factors associated with an increased risk of heart disease, such as stress, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise, were also factors in increased risk of having a stroke.

There are many things women can to do maintain a healthy heart. 

Those who meditated or had sex several times a week also saw a 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular events, Newman said.

While you don’t always need to take a pill, you do need to eat right, Newman said.

Wine and chocolate are also beneficial for heart health, Newman said.

Doctors Johnita Darton and Kimberly Strickland of Weatherford Medical Associates advised women to find a primary care physician and pay attention to their numbers - blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Women should not smoke and should maintain a healthy weight, engage in regular physical activity, eat a healthy diet and manage blood pressure.

Regular exercise should get the heart rate up, the doctors said.

A heart healthy diet should include vegetables, fruits, fish and beans, and when reading food labels, be aware of the sodium level, women were told.

Weatherford Regional Medical Center noted they had the first stents placed this week as the hospital’s heart and vascular services continue to expand since the opening of the cardiac catheterization lab about a year ago.

Area women can sign up for other Healthy Woman events at www.weatherfordregional.com/HealthyWoman.

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