Ann DeVelasco, Registered Nurse with Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, says it is a myth that most women in America die from cancer, one in three women will die from heart disease. She also points out there are a lot of young women who are getting heart disease today or being diagnosed with heart disease, and, more in younger women. She says the symptoms in women are different than in men: "I can say that there are many similarities in the way that your heart is affected, but the way that you get to that path, and the symptoms that bring you to treatment, are different."
Ann DeVelasco, Registered Nurse with Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, says changing our behaviors especially as we get older is not easy. "Once you've had a heart attack you become like a zealot, you want to do everything right away, but it is about behavior. Some people start going to the gym on Monday, and by Wednesday they're going less, and by Friday they don't go anymore." She also explains about 150 minutes of exercise a week is good, and that would be good to keep you heart healthy.
Ann DeVelasco, Registered Nurse with Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, says risk factor education is not difficult to understand if it is presented properly. "There are risk factors we cannot control, like our age, our family history, but there are many things we could control." The risk factors women can control to avoid heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity.
Hispanic and African-American women are at greater risk of suffering from a heart disease. "A lot of times this can be attributed to the diet, there's a lot of unhealthy foods in the diet. The other thing is awareness, people of different races don't always have the same access to health care, they may not even be given the information, and they may not even be giving the test that would indicate if they were at risk for this disease," explains Ann DeVelasco, Registered Nurse with Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute. She also says there is a cultural aspect, because a lot of women continue to see themselves solely in the caretaker role, and they tend to put themselves last.
Ann DeVelasco, Registered Nurse with Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, explains what happens in a heart attack: "The arteries carrying blood to your heart have developed plaque over time. Plaque is a buildup of a waxy substance called cholesterol. The wall of the heart becomes damaged." She highlights the longer you have symptoms that go untreated, the more likely you are to have permanent muscle damage to the heart, which can cause you to die, or can cause your life to be greatly altered.