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Heart disease the number one killer of women

Hello...I have just spent the last few days with my mom in the hospital because of severe chest pains and shortness of breath. She has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Luckily, she didn't have a heart attack (yet) but she's only 60 and about 50 pounds overweight. The whole time I was with her in the hospital, in the back of my mind I was imagining myself in her place in 30 years and it scared the crap out of me. This helped me realize in a hurry that losing weight isn't just about vanity, but it could prevent me from an early death.

Fri. Mar 3, 8:36am

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I'm sorry about your mom, but I'm glad she is ok. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for you (and her).

Heart disease is a HUGE problem in my family. It is one of my biggest motivators for getting healthy.

The reason heart disease is more life-threatening to women than men has to do with how it develops. You know how men generally develop beer bellies but stay pretty thin everywhere else and women generally gain weight all over? There are similar differences in the way we develop heart disease. Men tend to have a single, isolated clogged artery. The plaque builds up in the same spot so when they have a heart attack it is easier to fix and treat because the damage is isolated. Women tend to build up plaque that is more evenly distributed. So by the time they are exhibiting symptoms they have several problem areas and it is more difficult to treat. This is why less women survive their first heart attack than men and less women survive the first year after a heart attack than men. I don't believe they know why this happens yet, but it is important to know.

Friday, March 03, 2006, 8:47 AM

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Despite the best efforts of the American Heart Association and their Red Dress campaign, most women surveyed identify breat cancer as the biggest killer of women. Heart disease kills more women each year than breast, ovarian and uterine cancer COMBINED. Women have to get past the idea that weight loss is cosmetic and realize it could save their life. We also have to become less concerned about the number on the scale and how it relates to pant size and more concerned about how that number relates to BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.

Friday, March 03, 2006, 8:47 AM

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Wow, you just reminded me of my own circumstances. My mother was just in the hospital a few weeks ago with chest pains. They evetually told her it was due to a muscle problem or something.

My mom has constantly struggled with her weight and was diagnosed with diabetes at 40. That is a strong motivator for me. I can avoid getting Type II Diabetes if I lose the weight now. I do not want to be in her shoes in the next few years. I wish that she could get motivated to lose the weight and get herself healthy, and I have tried to help - but she just doesn't wan to do it. We all have to live our own lives, hopefully she will come around.

Friday, March 03, 2006, 9:32 AM

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To the poster right above !!!

You might want to strongly suggest your mom get a second opinion - not only is heart disease the #1 cause of death in women, but it is also often misdiagnosed because women sometimes present different symptoms than men.

I don't speak from experience, but saw a scary and compelling news program that interviewed 3 women that had heart attacks after many hospital visits with early symptoms that were misdiagnosed. Please consider seeing a specialist w/ your mom.

(I don't mean to scare you, but wanted to make sure to share the info.)

Friday, March 03, 2006, 11:16 AM

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9:32 poster here. I have heard that if you get an EKG, that can tell if you've had a heart attack, right?

Friday, March 03, 2006, 12:26 PM

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Moms and daughters unite!

My Mom was in the hospital yesterday with a blood clot in her leg. While that may not be heart disease-related, she IS at least 50 lbs. overweight also. I've lost about 16lbs. on PeerTrainer so far, and I want to inspire her to lose weight also. We shouldn't just take on our own health, and lose weight in a HEALTHY way, but we should also baby our Mothers. I'd rather be a nudge than lose her!
Moms and daughters unite!

Friday, March 03, 2006, 12:41 PM

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to the 9:32 poster...

yes...that's correct. an EKG will show if you have had a heart attack. that is how we found out she hadn't had one. scarey.

Saturday, March 04, 2006, 10:10 AM

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