Park Ridge Health wants people to know that heart health isn’t just a concern for geriatrics.
“Our focus today is targeting younger women with education,” said Maya Kommimeni, MD, of the cardiology unit at Park Ridge Health. “Heart disease is becoming a larger problem with younger women due to diabetes and obesity.”
In observance of National Heart Month, Dr. Kommineni and the Park Ridge Health Wellness Team hosted “Straight to the Heart: A Woman’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy Future,” an afternoon of education and health screenings on Feb. 8.
According to Park Ridge Health, heart disease and stroke are 80 percent preventable. Since 1984, more women than men have died from cardiovascular disease, and in 63 percent of the women who suddenly die, there is no previous evidence of the disease.
Dr. Kommineni said that one in three women today die of cardiovascular events. He suggested six simple things that can decrease risk:
• Quit smoking.
• Watch your body mass index.
• Limit a sedentary lifestyle.
• Limit alcohol consumption.
• Keep a heart healthy diet.
Fats were once waged war upon in the American diet, but now doctors are saying carbohydrates are the enemy, due to the weight gain they promote.
“Carbs are more and more linked to heart disease,” said Shawn Taylor, assistant professor of pharmacy at Wingate University. “A recent study shows that excess intake of carbs and sugar are more harsh on the heart than salt.”
She said many people don’t know that potatoes, corn and beans are big sources of carbs, and a large McDonald’s sweet tea has enough carbohydrates for an entire meal.
“The portions have also grown out of control for the last few decades,” said Taylor.