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Heart Disease

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The state of one's health is reflective of an individual's ability to meet life's challenges and maintain his or her capacity for optimal functioning. – (World Health Organisation) A social view of health goes beyond the dominant biomedical model of health and illness or disease, and acknowledges that social, environmental, economic, biological and gender factors all influence health outcomes and quality of life As women, we all want to look and feel our best. This is not always easy, considering the busy life today's woman leads and the many responsibilities she may have. It can be tough to find time for exercising and eating right, not to mention controlling stress! Sometimes women can feel pressured to look and feel a certain way. We live in a culture that puts much emphasis on physical appearance. Developing and nurturing a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude is crucial to our happiness and wellness. Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of death in Australia. It is also a major cause of disability, with many patients requiring ongoing rehabilitation and assistance with daily activities. Coronary heart disease occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle are clogged or narrowed. If these vessels (the coronary arteries) become too clogged, the blood supply to the heart muscle is reduced, which can lead to symptoms such as chest pain, reduced exercise tolerance and tiredness. Furthermore, this increases the chances of a blood clot forming in the narrowed artery and completely blocking the blood supply to part of the heart, which can cause a life-threatening heart attack. Heart disease can also be caused by stress. Women develop heart problems later in life than men -- typically 7 or 8 years later. However, by about age 65, a woman's risk is almost the same as a man's. Also, the rates of heart attack over the last 20 years have been increasing for women 35 to 54 years of age. It makes sense for women...

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