How heart smart are you?

If you’re like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for other folks. But heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.

There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It’s the major reason people have heart attacks.

Other kinds of heart problems may happen to the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump well and cause heart failure. Some people are born with heart disease.

Take this quiz to find out how heart smart are you

1. Regular physical activity is an important step toward a healthy heart. What other steps can you take to reduce your risk of heart attack?
A. Stop smoking
B. Reduce high blood pressure
C. Maintain proper blood cholesterol levels
D. All of the above

2. If running marathons is not your idea of regular exercise, you can work up a heart-healthy sweat in your everyday life in a lot of ways. What are some of them?
A. Gardening
B. Walking
C. Vigorous vacuuming
D. All of the above

3. Besides being an important way to get ready for bathing suit season, regular physical activity can also benefit your health and well-being by improving which of the following?
A. Blood cholesterol
B. High blood pressure
C. Weight
D. All of the above

4. The main cause of high blood pressure is:
A. Stress
B. Obesity
C. Unknown
D. Aging

5. Saturated fat can raise your cholesterol level and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Which of these is a saturated fat?
A. Olive oil
B. Flax oil
C. Butter
D. Safflower oil

6. At what age should you start getting checked for cardiovascular disease if you’re a healthy adult?
A. 20
B. 30
C. 40
D. 50

7. How many women die of cardiovascular disease in the U.S.?
A. About 1 every minute
B. About 1 every 5 minutes
C. About 1 every 7 minutes
D. About 1 every 9 minutes

8. You don’t need to worry about your children’s cardiovascular disease risk until they’re at least 18.
A. True
B. False

9. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of American women.
A. True
B. False

10. A woman who smokes is how many times more likely to suffer a heart attack than a non-smoker?
A. One to two
B. Two to six
C. Eight to 10
D. 10 to 12

1. D; 2. D; 3. D; 4. C (In 90 to 95 percent of high blood pressure cases, the cause is unknown. You can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. That’s why it’s called the “silent killer.”); 5. A; 6. A; 7. C; 8. B; 9. A; 10. B

Sources: American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic

Did you know?

A hearty laugh — the kind that sends a stream of tears from your eyes — does more than warm the soul. Research has shown the guffaw can cause the lining of blood vessel walls called endothelium to relax, increasing blood flow for up to 45 minutes after the laugh attack. Damage to the endothelium can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels and eventually cardiovascular diseases. That’s no laughing matter.

Source: Live Science

Have a heart!

The American Heart Association’s, Women’s Fitness Week is May 9-15. There are various ways people can participate:

  • Local fitness instructors, trainers, gyms and yoga studios can offer a free community class to introduce new clients to improved heart health through fitness.
  • Lowcountry residents can attend one of those free community classes and make a $10 donation to support community outreach and education in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Call 843-681-2355, or email to register your free community class or to locate a participating facility.