A Matter of Heart

Women and Heart Disease

Clearly, Heart Disease is in the news and has been for years, thanks to drug companies marketing their drugs and to the work of the “red dress campaign” . There are national programs to educate us about risk, yet often women do not realize it’s about them too!

 

 

Heart disease is the number one killer of women!!

  • More than 1 woman dies every minute
  • More than 68 women die every hour
  • 11,538 women die every week
  • Nearly 50,000 women die every month
  • Approximately 600,000 women die every year

 

With over 20 years working in cardiology and women’s health, I’m a bit passionate about this topic. While I spent years working on the life-saving, high tech end of this health epidemic, I found that there is a significant scarcity of information on prevention! Thus I want to focus my next few posts on women and heart disease. While I know heart disease is certainly a multi-factorial issue, today I’ll start with some basic info about women and cholesterol.

 

Cholesterol – Gender Matters

 While 85% of women over age 50 say they are very knowledgeable about cholesterol, only one third know their cholesterol numbers.

We’ve been bombarded in the last decade with advertisements about cholesterol lowering medications like Lipitor, but here’s the rest of the story – especially for women.

Statin drugs (like Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor) work to lower the Lousy LDL cholesterol. And…they do it very well- if you can tolerate the side effects. The truth is however, that they only reduce the risk of heart or cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 30%. Think about that for a moment. If you’re out to lunch with 10 girl friends, only 3 will have a reduced risk and the rest of you are out of luck!!

Over the years, science has proven that combination therapy is needed to impact the entire cholesterol profile – the good “healthy” HDL cholesterol, the Bad / ”Lousy” LDL cholesterol and the Ugly triglycerides. When all three are addressed then you can improve cardiovascular risk reduction up towards 80-90&%. Now we’re talking!!

This is even more critical for women. Research has shown that not only do women need a higher HDL (healthy) cholesterol compared to men (50 vs. 40) but we also need to focus significantly on Triglycerides (TG).  The famous Framingham Heart Study suggests that for women- HDL and TG have much greater predictive potential for heart disease that total cholesterol or even LDL (lousy) cholesterol. The staggering statistics show that women with a low HDL and high TG have a 10 fold increase for CVD. How often do advertisements share this info?

Do you know your numbers? Do yourself a favor- Get to know your numbers and decrease your risk.

Now, with all of that said, western medicine (myself included for some time) and big Pharma are coaching you to keep your cholesterol levels very, very low. While this can definitely have a favorable  impact on cardiovascular disease, it can also have an unfavorable impact on other ares of your body. For instance all of your hormones are derived from cholesterol, without the proper amount of cholesterol, you hormones won’t’ work as well. I share with clients now that it while cholesterol is important, we now know that inflammation is a much, much bigger risk for cardiovascular disease.  I’ll share more about inflammation and how to reduce it in another post. In the meantime, know your numbers.


To living with vitality!

 

Comments

  1. Camy says:

    The short answer is your are at risk for heart dsaeise with these numbers. A quick rundown of your scores: Your HDL is low, it should be above 40 for male or 50 for female. Your LDL is way high, according to American Heart.org, over 190 is very high, with the preference being under 130 normal or under 100 optimal. The total puts you at very high risk and should be under 200.I could write a long time about how to lower cholesterol without meds just from personal experience, so I will give you the brief three prong suggestion: 1. Watch what you eat. Specifically, cut out saturated and trans-fats, reduce the amount of cholesterol you eat (red meats, dairy, hot apple pies, McDonalds, etc), and add some oily/ocean fish, tree nuts (almonds, peanuts), vegetables, and fruit. 1%, 2%, and skim milk are okay to have, just need to limit high fat dairy. 2. Exercise, at least twice a week, preferably 3 to 4 times. Aerobic Take a brisk walk or jog in the neighborhood; use a treadmill, stair climber, or multi-machine. Strengthening use a gym, home multi-machine, or workout video. 3. Omega 3 s. You get this naturally through the fish in number one, but you can also use a quality supplement, which will generally have a 2:1 EPA to DHA ratio for Omega 3. Check with your doctor for a recommended dosage, but I go for about 1500 to 2000 mg of Omega 3 per day.I am not in the medical profession, but I scored a 272 just 8 months ago. 2 months ago I was at 196 (no medication) and still dropping. I have more of my story on my profile blog and my website. (Sorry, I do not qualify to link my website at this time.)

    • Lori Finlay Hamilton says:

      Camy,

      Congratulations for getting your numbers down so effectively!! You are doing so many of the right things!:)
      I would also recommend adding Vitamin D3 and CO-Q10. The latest research shows a significant link to CV disease if either of these are low. I recommend at least 2000 of Vitamin D and 100 Mg of Co-Q10. The other- in my opinion- must have is raising your Glutathione levels. After years of study and searching for the best formulation to raise it, I recommend and use CellGevity. You can find out more details at http://www.MaxVitaity4U.com

      Good luck and keep up the great work!! We need as many as we can educating men (and especially women) about heart disease.

      To your Vitality!
      Lori

  2. It’s amazing for me to have a website, which is helpful in favor of my experience. thanks admin

  3. gold price says:

    With HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are better. Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men, less than 50 mg/dL for women) puts you at higher risk for heart disease. In the average man, HDL cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL. In the average woman, they range from 50 to 60 mg/dL. An HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher gives some protection against heart disease. The mean level of HDL cholesterol for American adults age 20 and older is 54.3 mg/dL.

    • Lori Finlay Hamilton says:

      Dear Gold Price,

      Thanks for your comments! Yes, it is critical that we raise our HDL levels. Our HDL :LDL ratio is far more important than any one number. I like to share information in a “good, better, best” format. So-
      Good - Raise your HDL
      Better-Raise your HDL get advanced lipid tests (like The VAP or NMR). These lipid tests will show you how “sticky” your bad /lousy LDL cholesterol is. They will show you particle size etc. They are much greater at predicting cardiovascular disease, than just a simple lipid test.
      Best – Raise your HDL and check your oxidative LDL measurement. And a supplement to reduce your oxidative stress. I recommend CellGevity by Max International. http://www.Max.com/123278

      Hope this helps.
      Making Vitality A Reality!
      Lori

  4. Good blog here!

  5. With HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are better. Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men, less than 50 mg/dL for women) puts you at higher risk for heart disease. In the average man, HDL cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL. In the average woman, they range from 50 to 60 mg/dL. An HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher gives some protection against heart disease. The mean level of HDL cholesterol for American adults age 20 and older is 54.3 mg/dL.

Speak Your Mind

*