Talking out about women’s ‘silent killer’

Victoria Schneps-Yunis.

BY VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS | We are proud to present a unique way to call attention to what is known as the “silent killer.”

One in three deaths among women in the United States each year is a direct result of heart disease. This killer delivers a fatal blow to more women in this country than all cancers combined, according to the American Heart Association.

The situation calls for everyone to be alert, which is why the American Heart Association designated the first Friday of February as “Go Red For Women Day.” It’s also why we’re “going red” — as we seek to make everyone aware of the dangers of heart disease, and the importance of paying attention to our bodies.

Why red? It’s not just because our blood is red. The color is often associated with power, passion, determination, strength, love — all qualities that we need in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the “silent killer.”

Heart disease should be a personal issue for us all. We all know someone in our lives who lives with the complications day in and day out. But many others have the symptoms of heart disease and do not know it.

Last year, Jennifer Goodstein, former publisher of this paper, wrote about her diagnosis with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic disease that causes the thickening and scarring of heart muscle. She had to undergo open heart surgery to have it treated.

Like so many others, Jennifer lived a very healthy life before her diagnosis — exercised regularly, never smoked, no major illnesses.

Jennifer sought help from a cardiologist at N.Y.U. Langone, Dr. Mark Sherrid, who reassured her that the condition is “highly treatable” as long as it’s “recognized and treated appropriately.”

Awareness is so critical toward stopping the “silent killer” from striking you or someone you love. Heart disease has many symptoms — shortness of breath, sudden fatigue, dizziness upon standing, even indigestion. If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms frequently, seek medical help immediately!

Make sure you visit your doctor at least once a year for a physical. If your doctor refers you to a cardiologist for additional tests, follow through and get checked out. If you’re prescribed medication to treat your ailments, take your doses as required.

Above all, take care of yourself. Eat right. Exercise regularly. Don’t sit at your desk or on your couch all day; every so often, get up and move your legs and feet. Avoid smoking — and if you’re a smoker, find a way to kick the habit.

You only have one life — live it to the fullest and the healthiest!

 

Schneps-Yunis is president and publisher, Schneps Media

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