Remember the lyrics to that classic song, “Don’t take your love away from me, don’t leave my heart in misery, if you go then I’ll be blue, because breaking up is hard to do.”
At some point in your life you may have felt similar emotions and can relate that breaking up really is hard to do. Not only do you lose your love, but it seems your world has been flipped upside down. Well, breaking up isn’t just an emotional experience, and a broken heart isn’t just a metaphor. In fact, your heart can really take a beating when it comes to separating.
With divorce occurring at any age comes the risk of serious health problems. Women especially are more prone to the affects of a broken heart and growing research is coming out supporting the idea that a breakup can negatively impact your heart. So much so, the effects of divorce on women’s heart health is quite detrimental.
Broken heart, broken heart health
Stress is your body and your heart’s No. 1 enemy. Stress negatively impacts the body in so many different ways. From disrupting the digestive system to raising blood pressure, the key to good health is to lower stress. But going through a divorce, stress can get out of hand which in turn raises women’s risks for heart attack.
Recent research, published in Circulation, outlines that women going through a divorce are at higher risk of having a heart attack. Most studies on women’s heart disease examined factors like blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, but this study took into account additional factors like diet, income, weight and even remarriage.
Researchers found through divorce, women’s heart disease risk goes up. Furthermore, remarriage did not reduce the risk of women’s heart disease either, but in men it did.
Within their sample, roughly 16,000 adults between 45 and 80 were observed for 18 years. The mix of the sample included those who were married, those who were divorced at the start of the study, and others who previously have been divorced. Among the group, those who had a previous divorce were more likely to be part of the 8 percent of participants to have a heart attack, no matter their age, in comparison to those who stayed married.
This is how the numbers broke down:
- 24 percent increase in women’s heart disease for those who had a divorce
- 35 percent increase in women’s heart disease for those who remarried
- 36 percent increase in women’s heart disease for those who were currently divorced.
Women’s heart health facts
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 2009 women’s heart disease was responsible for one in four female deaths. Additional women’s heart health facts include that only 54 percent of American women recognize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer. Furthermore, 64 percent of sudden coronary female deaths had no previous symptoms. This goes to show that although you may be symptomless, it doesn’t lower your risk for women’s heart disease.
Symptoms of women’s heart disease
Although women’s heart disease may be symptomless, some symptoms of women’s heart disease to look out for include:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitation
- Shortness of breath
- Impaired vision
- Severe headache.
As you can note, many of these symptoms can be confused with other ailments, so monitoring your heart is the best way for women’s heart disease prevention.
Heart disease affects women across age groups
Don’t believe for a second that your age can deter you from the effects of divorce on women’s health. But if you want to embark on women’s heart disease prevention, this is what you need to know for your age.
Women heart disease prevention aged 20 to 30 years:
- Know your family history and know your risk factors for women’s heart disease
- Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke
- Drink in moderation
- Reduce your stress
- Choose appropriate birth control
- Make time for yourself.
Women heart disease prevention aged 40 to 55:
- Get regular doctor check-ups
- Reduce stress
- Monitor changes in your body
- Stay active
- Know your numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure etc.).
Women heart disease prevention aged 60-plus:
- Stay active
- Know your risk
Tips to mend your broken heart
If you’ve recently gone through a divorce, or have previously gone through one, mending your broken heart is key to women heart disease prevention. Here are some tips to mend your broken heart.
Exercises and foods for heart health
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week for proper heart health. Trying some of these heart health exercise tips will lead to women’s heart disease prevention:
- Yoga is a great way to maintain your health and help your heart. Because it can aid in the reduction of stress, which divorce can aggravate, it’s a great means as women’s heart disease prevention.
- Swimming is a great low-impact option for those who can’t put added stress on their joints. The resistance of the water also makes it a good heart health exercise.
- Taking a walk is not only a great heart health exercise, but it can also help reduce stress by journeying through nature.
When it comes to healthy eating, good foods to have for your heart health include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Healthy fats like those found in olive oil, nuts and avocados
- Reduced sodium (avoid packaged, processed foods and takeout).
Whether you just want to maintain good heart health or are trying to mend a broken heart, these heart health exercise tips and foods to have for heart health will do the trick.
Remember, though, with a divorce comes added stress, so reducing stress is also a top priority to protect against women’s heart disease.
Natural remedies for a healthy heart
Preventing heart diseases should be America’s top concern when it comes to our health. That doesn’t mean turning to medication for a magic fix, but looking at natural remedies for a healthy heart. And that comes down to lifestyle, making good choices and developing the right habits.
Coffee for the heart? New research says yes…
For years, health authorities believed coffee was bad for your heart. But listen up, java lovers, there’s a new reason to have that extra cup of coffee every day! Drinking as many as four cups daily may actually help in the prevention of a heart attack. That’s according to new research published by BMJ Heart.