Doctor shares health tips with women

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

While women are very aware and concerned about breast cancer, they are 10 times more likely to suffer from heart disease.

Dr. Wynne Crawford is a cardiologist and spoke to women at this month’s Female Factor sponsored by Troy Regional Medical Center and told her audience that heart disease is the number one killer in women. “In 1982, still considered rare in women,” Crawford said. “Guess what? It is an equal opportunity disease.” Crawford said congestive heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in the United States and there is about a one-in-eight chance of developing hypertension at some point in a person’s life.

Crawford said, while in some cases genetics play a part in heart disease, there are ways to limit the chance of having some sort of heart complication.

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“You can’t pick your parents and you can’t change your age,” Crawford said, adding that people can quit smoking, eat healthier, exercise and keep your cholesterol levels in the right ranges.

People who already have blockages or have chronic kidney disease or diabetes are more at risk for heart disease.

“I encourage people to get involved in their own medical care,” Crawford said.

Crawford suggested women over 30 who have a history of heart disease in their family should have an electrocardiogram to check for abnormalities. Women with no history of heart disease in their family can wait until they are 40.