The Heart Truth logo


Slide 1—Welcome

Slide 2—A National Campaign

  • To help women understand their risk of heart disease and take action
  • Especially women ages 40 to 60
  • Partnership of many groups
  • Red Dress—the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness

Slide 3—Today's Session Will Cover

  • Why women need to know about heart disease
  • What heart disease is
  • Risk factors
  • Talking to your doctor
  • Taking action
  • Surviving a heart attack
  • Resources
  • Getting on the road to heart health

Slide 4—The Heart Truth

  • Heart disease is the #1 killer of American women—no matter what their race or ethnicity
  • Heart disease kills 1 of every 3 American women
  • Heart disease can permanently damage your heart—and your life

Slide 5—The Heart Truth

  • Heart disease is a "now" problem
  • "Later" may be too late

Slide 6—What Is Heart Disease?

  • Heart doesn't get enough nutrient-rich blood
  • Chronic—develops over years
  • Atherosclerosis—arteries harden as cholesterol, fat, and other substances build up in artery walls
  • Blockage can result in heart attack

Slide 7—No Quick Fix

  • Not "fixed" by surgery or procedures, such as bypass and angioplasty
  • Worsens if not treated—leads to disability or death

Slide 8—Good News

  • Heart disease can be prevented or controlled
  • Treatment includes lifestyle changes and, if needed, medication

Slide 9—Why Me? Why Now?

  • Risk rises ages 40-60
    • Estrogen level drops during menopause
  • Risk factors
    • Smoking
    • High blood pressure
    • High blood cholesterol
    • Overweight/obesity
    • Physical inactivity
    • Diabetes
    • Family history of early heart disease
    • Age (55 and older for women)

Slide 10—Heart Disease Risk Factors

  • Multiply their effects
  • Same lifestyle steps prevent/control many of the risk factors

Slide 11—Have a Heart-to-Heart

  • Ask your doctor about your risk of heart disease
  • Draw up a list of questions before your visit
  • Write down or tape record what the doctor says
  • Tell your doctor your lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking or being physically inactive

Slide 12—Key Tests for Heart Disease Risk

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood cholesterol
  • Fasting plasma glucose (diabetes test)
  • Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Stress test

Slide 13—Why Women Don't Take Action Against Heart Disease

  • They don't put their health as a top priority
  • They think they're not old enough to be at risk
  • They feel too busy to make changes in their lives
  • They're already feeling stressed
  • They're tired

Slide 14—How To Lower Heart Disease Risk

  • Begin today
  • Be physically active—30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week
  • Follow a healthy eating plan
    • Low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and moderate in total fat
    • Limit salt and sodium
    • If you drink alcoholic beverages, have no more than one a day

Slide 15—How To Lower Heart Disease Risk

  • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Balance calories taken in with those used up in physical activity
  • Stop smoking
  • Manage diabetes
  • Take medication, if prescribed

Slide 16—Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Chest discomfort
    • Usually in the center of the chest
    • Lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
    • Can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach

Slide 17—Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Other symptoms, such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness

Slide 18—To Survive a Heart Attack

  • Call 9-1-1 within minutes—5 minutes at most
  • Emergency medical personnel will begin treatment at once
  • Don't drive yourself to the hospital
  • Uncertainty is normal—don't be embarrassed by a false alarm
  • Plan ahead
  • Learn the warning signs

Slide 19—Resources for a Healthy Heart

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • American Heart Association
    Go Red for Women
  • Office on Women's Health, DHHS
    National Women's Health Information Center
  • WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

Slide 20—It All Begins With You

  • Take one step at a time
  • Replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones
  • Eat for heart health
  • Remember that calories count
  • Start walking—try 10 minutes and add time gradually to get 30 minutes a day

Slide 21—How To Keep Going

  • View changes as new lifestyle, not quick fixes
  • Set realistic goals
  • Buddy up
  • Don't worry about a slip
  • Reward your success
  • Be your own advocate—ask questions and seek information

Slide 22—The Heart Truth

  • It's up to you to protect your heart health—start today!