Heart disease kills 430,000 women each year, making it the No. 1 killer of women, said Dr. Vyshali Rao, head of the Women’s Heart Program at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.
“Most women in the United States don’t actually know that heart disease is their No. 1 killer,” she said. “If you ask most women, they will probably tell you breast cancer, or some type of cancer.”
People can reduce their risk for heart disease by refraining from smoking, watching their weight, and eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, Rao said.
“Number one is to get yourself aware; go to your doctor,” Rao said. “It is your body, and it is the only body we have, so you can make yourself a promise that once a year you go get a full physical exam. A full physical exam will get about 80% of all the risk factors.”
The stiletto strut attracted a cross section of media personalities and professional athletes, including Spanish-language radio host Luz Maria Brizeno, former Los Angeles Kings player Daryl Evans and actress Nia Peeples.
Peeples, who emceed the event, said one of the most startling things about the statistics is realizing that heart disease is largely preventable. But most women are unaware of the risks.
“I think it is largely because we are the caretakers for the most part; we have a tendency to put everybody else first,” Peeples said. “We don’t realize that it is just like on the airplane when they say we are going down and they drop that oxygen mask, you put that oxygen mask on yourself before your child, because you are ultimately responsible for that child.”