National Wear Red Day is February 1st. Go Red for
Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement that advocates for
more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement also
challenges people to know their risk for heart disease and act to reduce their
personal risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each
year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we can change that because 80
percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and
the Signs and Symptoms?1
While there are many similarities in the symptoms
of heart disease in men and women, there are even more differences. Listed
below are the signs and symptoms, specific to women, that are important to
watch out for:
Heart Attack Symptoms:
Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or
pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away
and comes back.
Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the
back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Shortness of breath with or without chest
Other signs such as breaking out in a cold
sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom
is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to
experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath,
nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or
leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or
Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one
or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of
balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk2
Not only can you wear red to raise awareness but
you can also take steps to reduce your own risk. The American Heart Association
has developed an online tool called My Life Check. My Life Check allows you to
find out your heart score and see if you’re at risk based on Life’s Simple 7:
Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management
through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Heart Disease and stroke are two of the
many chronic conditions that Tria Health targets. Clinical Pharmacists provide
one-on-one telephonic counseling for members and act as their personal advocate
to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a
member’s medications and lifestyle habits, Tria Pharmacists can make
recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them
As Thanksgiving approaches, it can be stressful trying to maintain a healthy diet surrounded by indulgences. While it’s true that sweets can be enjoyed in moderation, there are still plenty of alternatives available so you can treat yourself and stay true to your healthy lifestyle. To help you get through the Thanksgiving season, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Heart-Healthy recipes:
Are you looking to lower your cholesterol? A healthy diet is a great way to get started. From a dietary standpoint, the best way to lower your cholesterol is reduce saturated fat and trans-fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to 5 to 6 percent of daily calories and minimizing the amount of trans fat you eat.1 You’ll typically see these types of fats in fried food, red meat and products made with whole milk. If you’re ready to start eating healthy, meal-planning can help keep you from falling into old temptations. Here are a few tips and recipes to get you motivated!
In 2011–2012, 78 million U.S. adults (nearly 37%) had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels that fall in the range where experts recommend cholesterol medicine or had other health conditions putting them at high risk for heart disease and stroke.1 Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body needs to build cells. So, while cholesterol alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, having too much in your system increases the chances that cholesterol will start to slowly build up in the inner walls of arteries that feed the heart and brain.
Main Causes of High Cholesterol2
Lack of physical activity
Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
In addition, some people inherit genes that can cause them to have too much cholesterol.
Good vs. Bad Cholesterol
LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: Contributes to fatty buildups in arteries. Plaque buildup narrow arteries and raise the risk for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease
HDL (Good) Cholesterol: Carries LDL cholesterol away from arteries back to the liver, where its then broken down and passed from the body. HDL can help decrease the risk of heart disease.
Symptoms of High Cholesterol
Unfortunately, high cholesterol usually has no symptoms. It’s important as an adult (age 20+) to get tested once every 4 to 6 years.
Treatment of High Cholesterol
Working with your health care provider can lower your cholesterol, which will reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle changes such as eating a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and losing weight (if overweight or obese) are all things that can lower your cholesterol. However, these lifestyle changes may not work for everyone, in which case, there are many medications available. Statins are recommended for most patients, but your doctor may consider other options as well.
If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,
reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742
Mercado C, DeSimone AK, Odom E, Gillespie C, Ayala C, Loustalot F. Prevalence of cholesterol treatment eligibility and medication use among adults—United States, 2005–2012. MMWR. 2015;64(47):1305–11.
Many people take some type of over the counter product on a daily basis and consider this a safe and natural way to treat or prevent disease. In many cases this can be true, but “natural” supplements and vitamins can cause side effects and worsen conditions in some cases.
Fish oil can be used to help lower triglycerides and reduce heart disease risk. However, this common supplement can also thin blood slightly and in some people actually raises their LDL, or bad cholesterol, too high. Vitamin E, which many people take for its antioxidant properties, is similar to fish oil in that it too can effect platelet function and thin blood. On their own this is usually not a problem, but when taken in combination with Aspirin, an antiplatelet medication like Clopidogrel (brand name: Plavix), or a blood thinner like Warfarin (brand name: Coumadin) this can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. Sometimes this can even lead to severe bleeding issues.
Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before adding any herbal supplement or vitamin to your daily medication routine.