Healthy Hearts - Focus on AFib
Stroke is the third leading cause of death for Indiana women, yet many of us do not understand or know much about one of the leading causes of strokes, atrial fibrillation or afib. In the United States, up to 2.66 million people are affected by the condition, which is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to serious complications such as dementia, heart failure, stroke or even death. When afib occurs the electrical activity of the heart is disorganized, disrupting the flow of blood through the heart. Over time, research has shown that afib changes the size and shape of the heart, producing scarring and altering the heart's electrical system. Afib increases one's risk of ischemic stroke by five times. It may come as a surprise to most that people over age 40 have a one in four chance of developing afib in their lifetime.
Not all people with afib will have symptoms of the condition, but some common sensations include palpitations, lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat or chest pain. People are more at risk if they have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, heart failure, heart disease, or are of an advanced age. Healthcare professionals may treat the condition with blood thinning medication, to help prevent stroke, medications to control the rhythm and rate of the heart, surgery and lifestyle changes. Afib treatment cost in 2005 is estimated at $6.65 billion, including the cost of hospitalization, in- and outpatient physician care, and medications.
This month, you can help raise awareness by forwarding a link to someone you know who could have the condition. Visit:
Raising Awareness of Teen Dating Violence
Since 2010, February has been recognized as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Nationally, as many as 1-in-3 teens has reported violence in a dating relationship. Indiana’s numbers show that more than 1-in-10 high school students reported being physically hurt by a dating partner in 2009 alone (CDC, YRBS). There are several warning signs of abusive teen relationships, including excessive calling and texting, checking a boyfriend or girlfriend’s Facebook or email without permission, extreme jealousy and temper, possessiveness, telling you what to do or how to dress, isolation from family or friends and physical violence, among others. While it’s important to be on the lookout for these warning signs in the teens in your life, it’s also essential to teach teens healthy relationship behaviors and to model them in our own lives.
Healthy relationships are based on equality and respect, and feature open and honest communication, conflict resolution, healthy decision-making and consent. When talking with our youth about healthy relationships, it’s best to do it before they start dating. Don’t be afraid to discuss healthy relationships with teens, and if you need a little assistance, there’s plenty of help out there! For addtional resources, go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/chooserespect/
Know Your Numbers?
Heart disease continues to be the No. 1 leading cause of death for Indiana women. In 2010, 30.4% of Indiana females were considered overweight, based on body mass index, and 29.1% were considered obese (BRFSS, 2010). During a heart check up, your doctor takes a careful look at your "numbers," including your blood pressure, trigylceride levels, your "good" and "bad" cholesterol and more. You can go a long way towards reducing your risk for heart disease by knowing a few key facts about your numbers, and how to keep them in check. The American Heart Association recommends printing their chart on risk factors for heart disease and placing it somewhere it will remain visible to serve as a reminder of the healthy heart goals. The numbers chart is available at http://www.goredforwomen.org/know_your_numbers.aspx
One of the most beneficial steps you can take toward reducing your risk of heart disease is to start getting regular, moderate exercise, every day of the week for at least 30 minutes a day.
To help you get motivated to get your heart pumping, we asked the First Lady, Cheri Daniels, to offer some of her music choices for prolonging those daily walks/workouts. Here are just a few of her favorite high energy songs:
"Jump" - Pointer Sisters
"New Attitude" - Patty LaBelle
"Firework" - Katy Perry
"Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5
"Alright" - Darius Rucker
"A Little Less Conversation" - Elvis Presley
"Billie Jean/Poison" - Straight No Chaser
“I Gotta Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas
“Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield
“Hold On, I’m Coming” – Sam & Dave
“Dancing Queen” – ABBA
"ABC" - Jackson 5