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VA North Texas Health Care System

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Heart disease. Not just for men anymore.

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Women Veterans: Take steps toward a healthier heart.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The nation wore red February 1 to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Although it is the most common health threat in women, too many women Veterans don't realize they have heart disease until it is too late. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in American women and women Veterans and can lead to disability and decreased quality of life.

Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. Women are less likely than men to receive appropriate treatment for a heart attack.

Attention Women: Do you know your personal risk factors for developing heart disease?

Take this advice to have a healthy heart:

  • Report any pain or discomfort in the chest, left arm, shoulder, neck or back.
  • Do aerobic exercise (such as walking, dancing, bicycling, swimming, rolling in your wheelchair) for 30 minutes, five or more days a week (make sure your health care provider approves any exercise regimen).
  • Maintain/watch your weight.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Eat a low-fat diet.
  • If diabetic, control your blood sugar.
  • See your doctor regularly for blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol and other blood tests and routine checkups.

Women are the fastest growing population in the Veteran community. Of the 22.7 million living Veterans, more than 1.8 million are women, and they comprise more than 6 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care services.  VA is committed to meet the needs of women Veterans and announced the award of over 30 grants totaling more than $2 million to VA facilities for projects that will improve emergency health care services for women Veterans, expand women's health education programs for VA staff, and offer telehealth programs to female Veterans in rural areas. Locally, VA North Texas received a grant for a Tele-pharmacy clinic that will provide clinical pharmacy services for rural women, including safe prescribing, disease management and counseling.
 
Learn More:
All women are invited to attend and learn more about heart failure, cause, prevention and treatment.  VA North Texas has an active women Veterans program and is sponsoring:

9th Annual Women and Heart Health Symposium
February 22, 9:50 a.m.
Dallas VA Medical Center

Is there a woman Veteran among your family or friends? Make sure they know VA is here to meet their health care needs.  Mary Sweeney is the VA North Texas Women Veterans program manager and can be reached at 214-857-1938.

Visit www.womenshealth.va.gov to take steps toward a healthier heart.

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