NIH encourages women to take charge of their heart health
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute is celebrating one of its most prestigious campaigns.
Graziosi: The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Heart Truth campaign is marking its seventh year and the message is being heard loud and clear.
Cook: The Heart Truth campaign is an awareness campaign that was really a landmark opportunity that NHLBI began to make awareness of women’s heart disease really a reality for all women throughout the country.
Graziosi: Dr. Nakela Cook, a cardiologist at NHLBI, says since the campaign began in 2002 the rate of awareness has doubled among women recognizing heart disease as their number one killer.
Cook: We also know that when people are aware they're more likely to take action to reduce their risks by doing things such as changing their lifestyle and changing their diet, increasing their exercise—taking steps to understand what the risk factors are and having personal conversations with their doctors. All of this has increased as a result of this.
Graziosi: Dr. Cook says the risk factors haven't changed from years past.
Cook: The traditional risk factors include high blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels, having a family history of heart disease, women being over the age of 55, smoking cigarettes is a risk factor for heart disease, and for women also if they've had certain complications in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia or a severe form of hypertension in pregnancy—we're learning that they may convey a risk for heart disease down the line.
Graziosi: For further information on the Heart Truth Campaign visit www.hearttruth.gov. This is Cherry Graziosi, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Cherry Graziosi
Sound Bite: Nakela Cook, M.D., Ph.D.
Topic: heart, women, woman, heart health, heart risk, heart disease, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides
Additional Info: NIH encourages women to take charge of their heart health