When new treatments or new medicines are tested, they’re tested on men. Since women can get pregnant, they’re a liability—-they risk also testing drugs on a fetus with unknown effect, or a woman promptly dropping out, messing with the results. (And traditionally, just white men).
But that’s starting to change—and we’re realizing that there are huge gaps. A new study found that men’s and women’s hearts age differently. While it confirmed one thing we already know, that men develop heart disease earlier, the stark differences show that women need to be advocating for themselves. Standard treatments and expectations may not apply!
As early as possible, women need to be proactive about their heart health. Breast cancer gets tons of (mostly useless) PR, but heart disease kills 1 in 3 women… that’s 10 times more than breast cancer deaths.
A healthy diet (the Mediterranean diet is routinely tied to better heart health), exercise, and enough sleep (too little is tied to heart events) are the basics of heart health. But you can always give yourself an extra boost, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.
Try building heart healthy activities into your daily routine, so the benefits become regular and without extra thought or effort. It can be as simple as more exercise snuck into your day (whether it’s a change in how you do chores, or an extra errand by foot). Try a heart healthy tea (like Jiaogulan) after lunch (and since it’s caffeine free, you won’t be jolting your heart before bed).
You can also pack more heart healthy nutrition into your day with a targeted supplement, like Mito Cardia.
Then, as you start reaching milestones for beginning testing, make a personal plan with your doctor about what and how often you need it. Then, keep track. You never know if you’ll have to switch doctors, or if an overworked doctor will miss something important.
What heart health tricks do you work into your day?