Tag Archives: women’s heart health

The “big disconnect” in women’s heart health

7 May

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

hearts sunday_link_loveDr. Holly Andersen is a New York cardiologist who once told a Clinton Health Matters conference audience how frustrating it feels when she is able to impact only the women who come in to see her. She believes that increasing public awareness of heart disease can save lives, and this must start with women. Dr. Holly likes to say that “if you can educate a woman, you educate the family.” Here’s her sobering take on what she calls the “big disconnect” in women’s heart disease awareness, prevention and treatment: * Continue reading

11 fascinating facts about your heart

27 May

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

1. Matters of the heart

The hardest-working muscle in your body is your heart, according to the Library of Science. It pumps out two ounces of blood at every heartbeat, adding up to at least 2,500 gallons daily. The heart has the ability to beat over 3 billion times in a person’s life.  See also: How Many Times Has Your Heart Beaten So Far?

2. Too much sitting or driving could be trouble

If you want to stay heart healthy, it might make sense to cut back on sitting down, driving and watching the tube. In one analysis of data from nearly 30,000 people in 52 countries, those who owned both a car and TV had a 27% higher risk of heart attack than those who owned neither. However, the researchers caution that lack of physical activity is the culprit, not just what you’re doing while sitting. See also: Are you reading this sitting down? Don’t! Continue reading

“Jenny, know your numbers!” A free Mayo Clinic app

9 Nov

Catch the cameo appearances here by Mayo Women’s Heart Clinic cardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes (at work and joining Jenny on the treadmill!) on this spoof of a classic 1982 song reminding us to know and keep track of our heart health numbers. As part of the campaign, viewers can use a free application on Mayo’s Facebook page that will help them calculate their risk of a heart attack and learn how to prevent one.

In praise of solitude after a heart attack

22 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters


“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.”

This wise counsel is from Dr. Ester Buchholz, author of The Call of Solitude.  She describes solitude like this as “meaningful alone-time” – a powerful need and a necessary tonic in today’s rapid-fire world. Indeed, she maintains that solitude “actually allows us to connect to others in a far richer way”.

She likely didn’t write that as specific advice for those of us living with heart disease, but it struck me when I read her words that, although they are probably very true for all women, they are especially applicable to heart patients.

Indeed, maybe our heart health would actually improve if we were more determined to carve out more ‘me-time’ during the average day.  Continue reading

Can denial ever be a good thing for heart patients?

20 Jul

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When my little green car started making a funny PING! noise recently, I tried to talk myself out of what I was hearing.  “I don’t think it’s quite as bad as it sounded yesterday . . .”  And when my heart attack symptoms became more and more debilitating, I tried to talk myself out of them, too.

And besides, hadn’t the E.R. doctor emphatically diagnosed those symptoms (central chest pain, nausea, sweating and pain down my left arm) as merely acid reflux just two weeks earlier? In both cases, I guess I was being unrealistically hopeful. But as writer Margaret Weis once warned:

“Hope is the denial of reality.”

Denial has a bad name. To be “in denial” – whether it’s about a niggling noise coming from under the hood or about something as serious as a health crisis – is to be called foolhardy or just plain stubborn. But in some cases, according to the world-famous Mayo Clinic, a little denial may actually be a good thing. Being in denial for a short period can even be a healthy coping mechanism, giving us time to adjust to a painful or stressful issue.   Continue reading