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Straight Talk from 'Dr. Stephanie' - February 2013

Serious Facts for Heart Month 
En español

Stephanie Coulter, MDYou know that February is Heart Month. Although I encourage all women to take charge of their heart health every day, I always like to take this opportunity to pause and remind you of some very serious facts. 

  • 43 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • Your chances of dying from heart disease are 1 in 3.
  • More than 2.6 million women have a history of heart attack.
  • 33% of women do not engage in leisure-time physical activity.
  • 60% of Anglo women, 79.9% of African-American women, and 78% of Hispanic-American women are overweight or obese.
  • Among Mexican-American women, 31% have cardiovascular disease.
  • Among African-American women, 49% have cardiovascular disease.

Why doctors need your help

You may be asking yourself, “If medicine is so advanced now, why are these numbers still so high?” Yes, advances in medicine have led to improved outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease, and doctors now have better tools, including medicines and treatments available to use thanks to years of research.

However, your doctors cannot do this alone, and the recent statistics above tell me we are not there yet. One in three of you still have high blood pressure, one in four of you are obese, and many of you are not moving enough or eating the right things.

What we choose to do with and put into our bodies matters!

Even the best medicine will not prevent a heart attack alone, and even if you survive a heart attack, the condition often leads to disabilities and a long list of expenses.

Make the pledge  

Make a pledge this month to take these five steps towards beating the odds. I also encourage you to participate in one or more of our Heart Month events.

Until next time!
Stephanie Coulter, MD, Director of the Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health
Stephanie Coulter, MD

Do you have a topic that you would like to learn more about from Dr. Stephanie? Send us an email at and your question may be the next Straight Talk topic!

For additional ways all women can take care of their hearts, visit the Straight Talk archives on the Texas Heart Institute website.


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