• By Dennis Douda

Women Urged to Take Charge for Better Heart Health

February 24, 2014

When it comes to heart disease, men and women are not created equal, says the founder of Mayo Clinic's Women's Heart Clinic Sharonne Hayes, M.D. "Women have more risk factors and they have different risk factors," says Dr. Hayes. "Some of those are autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. They also have to go through all the vascular and physical changes of pregnancy."

In spite of long held beliefs that men have more to worry about, more women die of heart attacks each year in the United States than men. That's why Dr. Hayes encourages women to take charge and be proactive every day to lower their heart disease risk.

Journalists: Sound bites are available in the downloads. This is part 2 of Dr. Hayes' insights on women's heart health. Also see "Women and Heart Attacks" posted February 17, 2014.

Sound bite #4 - Exercise Appointments (Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Expert) "Schedule in exercise just like you would schedule in a meeting or a haircut or a coffee break. If you don’t schedule it in, it can always become the least important thing in your day and, by the end of the day, you won’t have done it." TRT :17

Another key to living heart healthy is diet. Dr. Hayes says a few simple adjustments make a world of difference. 

Sound bite #5 - Heart-Healthy Diet (Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Expert) "Important to eat 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Most of us get too much salt, so moderating salt, and recognizing that most of us get too much animal protein and, with it, associated animal fat." TRT :18

"While there’s been a steady decline in cardiovascular deaths in the general American population over the past 30 years, that has not been the case for women under the age of 55, which has seen a slight increase," says Dr. Hayes. She says smoking is just one of the major factors to blame.


Sound bite #6 - Women & Smoking (Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Expert) "Young women are smoking, they continue to smoke. With the rise of obesity and diabetes, younger women now have many more cardiovascular risk factors than they did 20 years ago."  TRT :13 

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