Heart Disease, the Silent Killer
By Nilda Melisa Rodriguez


Heart disease steals the life of one out of every four women in the United States. Its presence is often confused with something else, misunderstood or simply ignored, and doing nothing to stop it can be fatal. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), heart disease is the number one cause of death among both men and women in all populations. According to the 2014 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics by the American Heart Association in coordination with the National Institutes of Health, Hispanic women awareness regarding heart conditions remains lower than any other women categories. However, “Latinas are most prone to heart attacks due to their higher prevalence of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which are risk factors for heart disease, and in particular, heart attacks,” explains Dr. Sizemore-Ruiz. “We also know that Latinas are, many times, the “rock” of the household and with this comes a lot of responsibilities.”

Small changes can save your life

There are simple, everyday steps that everyone can do to take better care of their heart, such is alleviating stress. Dr. Sizemore-Ruiz recommends at least 30 minutes a day to move around or do some aerobic exercises. A healthier lifestyle and heart healthy foods can also help everyone in their household. “Replace white rice for brown rice, never fry your food, but bake or broil instead,” recommends Dr. Sizemore-Ruiz. “Also, replace the sugary juices with water or flavored water. Be sure that when you cook those big meals for your family that they are heart healthy. A family that is healthy together stays together.” Latinas can build the foundation to a healthier future now. “The most important thing you can do for future generations is to pass on healthy habits,” assures Dr. Sizemore-Ruiz. “Teach your children and family members the importance of healthy eating, exercise, and having at least yearly appointments with your physician to discuss your risks of having heart disease.”

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