The Physicians Committee

Carrie Fisher’s Heart Attack Is a Warning for Women

  December 27, 2016     Dr. Neal Barnard    

 
 

Carrie Fisher, famous for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, died today after suffering a heart attack last week. In the coming days—as fans celebrate her life and mourn her untimely death—I hope that her heart attack will help create an urgently needed conversation about women’s heart health.

During the holiday season, everybody is at increased risk for a heart attack. But year-round, women face a greater danger than men: Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack.

What are the signs of a heart attack women should look for? The American Heart Association says that the most common symptom for women is chest pain or discomfort. Women are also more likely than men to experience symptoms including shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

While it’s important to know these signs, I’d say it’s equally important to know how to reduce your risk for a heart attack in the first place. Heart disease causes most heart attacks. It is also the No. 1 killer of women, causing a woman to die every minute.

How can women reduce heart disease risk? Don’t smoke. Stay active. Eat a low-fat, plant-based diet and avoid meat and dairy products to maintain a healthy weight and manage blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

A plant-based diet can also help restore your heart health after a heart attack. Take if from Betty Mizek, who survived a heart attack this April. She recently joined me on the ABC News affiliate in Washington, D.C., to talk about how becoming a Barnard Medical Center patient and transitioning to a plant-based diet has improved her heart health. You can watch her inspiring story here: 

Healthy Holiday Tips from Barnard Medical Center

Visit PCRM.org/HeartHealth to learn more.

Comments

cocaine

Why does prior cocaine use cause hear attacks? I don't think that is true. no exercise, of course. We really don't know her history or her current heart status. It is easy to blame/shame her.

Eggs

Very true

Recipe ideas

check out Hanna's recipes - easy and delish! rawtillwhenever.com/ebooks/

Diabetes

Hoiw do you keep sugars from going to high?

Even Vegans will die!

It's inevitable! You're all going to die. If you don't die of heart disease, it will be of something else. Might as well enjoy your bacon etc. The big lesson to be learned from any death is to get your soul right with the big guy! He made you and you're returning to face him. Confess your sins, turn away from evil and do good. No vegetable will save you if you don't. In the end it's Heaven with God, or eternal death. Get your soul healthy and the rest will not matter too much! God bless you.

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