February 15, 2010

Alumnae Perspective

On Friday, February 5, 2010, tens of thousands of people all around the country wore red to support the fight against Heart Disease, which is the number 1 killer of women. This event was just the kick-off to National Heart Heart Health Month.
Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease. Usually referred to as simply "heart disease", it is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack happens when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart.

Historically heart disease was thought of as a predominantly male disease but current statistics show that 1 in 6 women die from Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) making it this country's biggest killer.

More women are dying from a heart problem than breast cancer - in fact every year almost half the women who die will do so from heart and blood vessel disease. Women of any age can develop heart disease but for those approaching the menopause, when estrogen levels drop, it is even more important to take care of your heart.

Major cardiac risk factors include raised cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, smoking, diabetes and lack of physical exercise.

Heart disease prevention is easy, if you follow a few simple tips:
• Don’t smoke or if you do, quit.
• Exercise, exercise, exercise
• Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight
• Get regular health screenings
• Use alcohol only in moderation

This is an issue that is near and dear to the hearts of Alpha Phi's everywhere because our very own Alpha Phi Foundation supports programs that advance leadership development, encourage academic excellence, support sisters in need, educate about the value of philanthropy and...yes, improve women’s heart health.

If you haven't made a donation to the Foundation this year, consider doing so this month as a part of the fight against heart disease in women.

-Lori Lyman-Losee (Beta Rho-Washington State)

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