WOMEN’S HEART DISEASE

Front Page - Kindle- 6x9The first volume in our women’s health book series is in the final editing process. After many iterations, our cover has evolved to the attached image. We aren’t sure this will be the final but it’s close.

As many newly published e-book authors know, the old adage You can’t tell a book by its cover doesn’t hold true anymore.  The first glimpse at a book cover should be readable in postage stamp size. Subtitles can tell it all and many sources suggest using a subtitle to further identify your book contents to those people skimming titles on the many Internet sites available to all of us.

With expanding knowledge in the e-book, media and marketing world, it is difficult to keep up with the many options.

Blue Heron Loft has done a great job in creating this cover and my Eyes of a Pedophile cover.  http://www.blueheronloft.com

Your Heart is a complete handbook of the anatomy, physiology and dynamics of heart health. It provides detailed explanations of many types of heart disease, some specific to women, and choices you can make to maintain a healthy heart. By learning about a disease that impacts so many lives and then taking steps to improve your own cardiovascular health and the health of your family, who knows? – You may save your life or the life of someone you love.

Below is an excerpt from Your Heart: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease:

DIFFERENCES IN THE FEMALE HEART

Early in life, male and female hearts look and act the same. With aging, gender differences in disease processes become apparent and often contribute to misdiagnosis in women. Men develop the usual type of arterial heart disease which narrows the large coronary arteries on the heart surface. Women often have narrowing of large coronary arteries like men, but females are also prone to developing coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) – a problem involving the small vessels called arterioles. In the face of inflammatory disorders that often affect women more than men, these tiny arterioles become stiff and unable to supply adequate oxygen to the heart muscle.

A number of health problems cause inflammatory changes: high blood-sugar, smoking and chronic infection. Additional factors like poorly controlled premenopausal hypertension, anemia and rheumatologic disorders also affect women and are thought to contribute to the development of CMD. However, the specific cause of CMD is still unknown and anyone can develop these changes. Coronary microvascular dysfunction cannot be treated with stents or bypass, but medications are beneficial and life prolonging.

Special tests are required to diagnose CMD. Women may have advanced microvascular changes and be at risk for a heart attack, yet a coronary angiogram — the best diagnostic evaluation for large coronary arteries — may appear normal. When the angiogram is normal but clinical suspicion for heart disease is high, a “Stress-Echo” is recommended to evaluate for CMD. Diagnostic methods are discussed in SECTION 15.

 Heart risks increase in menopause

Menopause is the biological time period when ovary function ceases. Ovaries produce estrogen, progesterone and a small amount of the male hormone, testosterone. At menopause, ovarian production of these hormones stops and hastens the occurrence of changes in the female body.

Not only are there cardiac changes. Around age fifty, when ovarian function naturally fades, most women begin recognizing other bodily changes as well. Some of these are: mood disorder, reduced libido, and hot flushes. But unknown to them, many women also begin silent internal vascular changes leading to heart disease. When premenopausal women have their ovaries surgically removed, the changes of menopause begin abruptly. This is referred to as “surgical menopause.” Starting at a younger age, problems related to estrogen deficiency take a toll on bone health making osteoporosis more likely. In all women lacking estrogen, skin changes become evident with vaginal tissue dryness. Hair may become thinner and skin less resilient.

In the past, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) using estrogen, progesterone or a combination of the two, was recommended. However, based on information from the Women’s Health Initiative, as of May 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against HRT to prevent chronic diseases such as: heart disease and osteoporosis. This is based on longitudinal studies over many years, weighing risks and benefits of taking replacement hormones. Still, under some circumstances HRT may be appropriate. If you have concerns, discuss hormone replacement with your physician.

Coronary heart disease gradually increases in women after menopause but can affect younger women, too, including those who have functional ovaries and continue to menstruate. Women under age 55 may not recognize the symptoms of heart disease or don’t seek medical attention believing they are too young to have a heart attack. American Heart Association statistics show heart disease kills 16,000 young women between the ages of 30-55, each year.

Because heart disease in women is variable, women of all ages, not only post menopausal women, should pay attention to symptoms that could indicate heart trouble, such as: indigestion, unexplained dizziness or weakness, jaw aching, sweating and feeling short of breath.

Betty Kuffel MD

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A HEART STOPS – A FRIEND DIES

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Taking Control of Your Health

You know the feeling – the sinking, shocking feeling –  when you hear the news a good friend has just died of a heart attack. In disbelief, you think – it can’t be. She/he was so young – maybe even a year or two younger than you. Then you begin to consider all the issues that might have contributed: he did smoke; she had a stressful job; she was overweight. All of these are risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac deaths.

Do you have stress in your life? Is your blood pressure under control? Are you overweight? Do you exercise regularly? Do you know your numbers – your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride numbers? You need to know them.

Don’t let a heart attack happen to you. Learn to recognize the symptoms. Learn what you can do to prevent and reverse heart disease. Take control of your life.

Many sudden death heart attacks are preventable; heart disease is preventable. With proper interventions, arterial narrowing in heart arteries can be reversed.

Lipstick Logic is about to publish an up-to-date book on the links to cardiovascular disease and what you can do, right now–today–to start changing your habits and improve your chances of living longer and healthier.

This book called, Your Heart, will provide you with a complete and thorough understanding of how your heart works and what it needs to work well —and what causes it to malfunction. If you take the time to learn this critical information now, you could make changes that will save your life.

Your heart is the only muscle in your body that never stops working, until it stops, dead.

You have the ability to make important choices in your diet, your lifestyle and exercise regimen right now to decrease your risk of progressive artery narrowing. The book details how your food choices can clog your arteries and cause a stroke or heart attack. Don’t wait until a heart attack to make changes – learn what you can do now to prolong your life.

Just as it is for men, heart attacks are the number one killer of women. More woman die annually of heart attacks than breast cancer.

With Your Heart, you’ll have an opportunity to read a comprehensive heart book written for women by Betty Kuffel, MD, a doctor of Internal Medicine. Dr. Kuffel has spent much of her professional life in emergency departments where she saw far too many women arrive by ambulance in cardiac arrest.  Many times these women had not recognized their heart symptoms and had not consulted a physician. Had they known what this book can teach you, they might be alive today.  Although the book was written with women in mind, except for some heart diseases specific to females, most of the information also pertains to men.

With years of medical education, experience treating both men and women, studying and staying current on heart research and interventions, Dr. Kuffel is the ideal, highly qualified person to share this information. And importantly, she has dedicated her professional life to helping women improve their health.

Your Heart will become your “go-to” book for everything you want to know about your what makes your heart work well and what you can do to improve heart function to extend your life. This book includes the unique aspects of heart disease in women. Goals for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, food choices, exercise, and what you need to discuss with your doctor are all specified in this book.

Watch for blog up-dates and publication date of YOUR HEART.

Bev Erickson, Lipstick Logic Co-founder

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

Yesterday, congress finally renewed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

 

Domestic ViolenceRainbow

When it first passed in 1996, the landmark federal legislation Violence Against Women Act recognized the severity of domestic violence and improved the criminal justice response to violent acts against women.

Following the enactment, numerous states adopted new laws addressing partner violence, sexual violence and stalking. Through VAWA there is federal funding to support rape crisis centers and more women have been willing to report sexual assault. Services under VAWA also include provisions for children and teenagers.

When Congress passed the Violence Against Women and the Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 it authorized appropriations through 2009 to cover many programs for victims. Some of these are: legal assistance, a court-appointed advocate program and crime victim support. A few of the many other components are: sex offender management, a stalker database, and making cyberstalking a crime. In the 2005 vote there were only four “no” votes. Yesterday, the bill passed 286-138 with 87 Republicans voting in favor. After many delays, President Obama will now be able to sign this important bill into law, including provisions that expired in 2011 due to failure of Congress to act.

Constituents, especially constituent women of the 138 Republicans who voted no -against this essential legislation, should demand answers. Why are your elected officials not supporting important legislation affecting women in every state? And –  why did Ruben Hinojosa, Texas Democratic and “hard core liberal” with two daughters, fail to vote on this important legislation?

Domestic violence is an underreported reported crime. Violence in a household affects everyone living in the home. The abuser often uses children and pets as weapons. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports 30-60% of perpetrators in partner violence also abuse children. As most people know, male children witnessing domestic violence are more likely to abuse their own children and partners when they become adults.

To understand the meaning of domestic violence we must look at definitions. Many women know they are in bad relationships and do not know how to escape. They are ill-prepared to deal with the crisis—when love turns violent. Violent doesn’t necessarily mean physical harm. Violence comes in many forms. Read the definition below carefully.

Definition of Domestic Violence:

  • A pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner
  • Physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person
  • Any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Source: United States Department of Justice  http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/areas-focus.html

Based on information from the Violence Against Women Survey from the National Institute of Justice and the Centers or Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over a lifetime, one in four women will experience domestic violence. If you are aware of anyone in an abusive relationship, it is important to intervene. Approximately 1/3 of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.

All states have passed laws making stalking a crime and changed laws that treated date or spousal rape as a lesser crime than stranger rape.

Definition of Sexual Assault:

  • Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs by force or without consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity.
  •  Falling under the definition of sexual assault is sexual activity such as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
  • It includes sexual acts against people who are unable to consent either due to age or lack of capacity.

Source: United States Department of Justice   http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/areas-focus.html

Definition of Stalking:

  • Stalking can be defined as a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Source: United States Department of Justice   http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/areas-focus.html

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474
1-866-331-8453 (TTY)

http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/violence-against-women-act-vawa/

Statistics from the www.whitehouse.gov site note a 67% decline in the rate of intimate partner violence up to 2010, but domestic violence is pervasive. Safe houses are becoming more available for women fleeing violent relationships. Please call the above phone numbers for assistance and advice. VAWA is an important law with provisions for victims without discrimination and programs to improve the handling of domestic violence against women and children.