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Women and Heart Disease: Take Heart—You’ve Got Control!

Silver Cross offers a free program for women Nov. 1 about heart disease

Joliet, IL (October 27, 2010)-- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both women and men in the United States. Although, more than 44 million American women between the ages of 40 and 70 are at risk for heart disease and most greatly underestimate the likelihood that they will develop the deadly disease.  Silver Cross Hospital's I Matter program is offering a free program that will educate area residents about risk factors and symptoms, while suggesting ways for living a heart-healthy life.

Dr. Kathleen Drinan, cardiologist, will present a free women and heart disease program called Take Heart-You've Got Control on Monday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, 1870 Silver Cross Blvd. (formerly Clinton Rd.), New Lenox. Dr. Drinan will share how heart disease is different in women than men and teach participants how to stay heart attack-free. Register to attend by visiting or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). 

“Your heart is essentially your lifeline and the more risk factors you have the greater your risk for heart disease,” said Dr. Drinan. “Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity or being overweight, smoking, physical inactivity, heredity, and age. Factors that lead to an increased risk would include stress and excessive alcohol consumption.”

Fortunately, there are ways to lower your risks for heart disease by following these simple steps:

According to the American Heart Association, having high blood pressure is one of the major risk factors. By exercising 20 to 30 minutes several days a week can cut your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. 

Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Having high blood pressure will increase the heart’s workload, causing the heart muscle to increase in size. Prevention and treatments for high blood pressure and cholesterol includes eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber, keeping a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise. 

Control Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Diabetes significantly increases your risk for heart disease. Maintaining a normal blood sugar most of the time can help reduce that risk. Be sure to check your blood sugar according to your doctor’s recommendation or daily if needed in order to keep blood-sugar levels under control.

Stop Smoking
Smoking increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. People who smoke are four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers. The good news is, no matter how long or how much you’ve smoked, if you quit, your risk for heart disease decreases soon after.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
People who have excess body fat-especially at the waist-are more likely to develop heart disease even if there are no other risk factors. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean protein can help you lose weight. Avoiding trans fat and limiting saturated fat can directly reduce heart disease risks.

Putting yourself on your “to do” list and finding ways to defuse stress will help slow your breathing and heart rate as you lower your blood pressure. Share your feelings, visit a friend, listen to mood music; all are good ways to reduce stress, you just have to come up with ways that are right or you.

Dr. Kathleen Drinan's office is located at 15300 West Avenue, Suite 301E, Orland Park. To schedule an appointment, call (708) 226-0506.

Free I Matter Membership
Women who join the free I Matter program at or by calling 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) receive benefits just for getting their annual mammogram and cardiac screening. After registering, members receive a welcome kit in the mail, which includes information on how to schedule a mammogram and cardiac screening as well as details on how to take advantage of the discounts. Upon completing the first screening—breast or heart—members receive a card for 5% off unlimited purchases at I Matter™ business partners. When the member completes the second screening, she is receives a 10% discount card.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895.  Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last six consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and eight satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction is underway to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in February 2012 in New Lenox.  To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


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