Today starts national Women's Health Week and we want to talk about how women can take care of themselves, especially when it comes to heart health and during and after pregnancy. We have Doctor Carty, Tob here from Cone health. She's board certified in cardiology and she can explain what steps all women can take to reduce their risk for heart disease. Thank you for joining us. Alright, let's start with this. Some people think of heart disease as just a man's disease. Tell me why? That's not true. Oh Tanya, thanks for having me here today. It's a pleasure to be here. Heart disease is really not a man's disease. About at least one in three women would die from heart disease, and if you look at high blood pressure as a whole half of American adults that have high blood pressure on women. But the good thing is, heart disease is preventable. And as we talk today during this conversation, I'll share with you what people can do to help prevent themselves from heart disease. All right? Well, let's talk because it's all about Women's Health right this week.
So women's bodies, they go through these unique changes during and after pregnancy. So talk a little bit about. A woman's risk for heart disease during those specific stages. OK, so yes, uh women's body. Go through a lot of different phases when they're pregnant, but I want us to look at it in three different phases. One, what happens before you get pregnant? What happens during pregnancy and what happens after? Ideally we want women to know that they're really planning their pregnancy and talk to their health care provider before they get pregnant.
If they have high blood pressure. If they are what we call obese with a body mass index greater than 35. 30 ideally 30, So what happens at that time? If you have high blood pressure will be helping you prep your body. Look at the medicines that you are going to be on. That could harm the baby, so that's the first steps we want women to take during that time. However, if you get pregnant and you haven't done these things, seek care because if you have high blood pressure, we want to make sure that we can help you control the blood pressure so you don't get those complications that could cause worsening heart disease.
During the time of your pregnancy or after, there are few things that I want women to be careful of. Like if you're age 35 and over, check with your provider first. Make sure that you don't have high blood pressure because a lot of people don't have have blood pressure, but they're not being checking themselves. Another thing that I want people who have diabetes. Make sure your sugars are controlled, because during pregnancy those are the things that can increase your cardiovascular outcome, meaning cause more damages. Or your heart while you're pregnant.
That can cause a lot of bad things to happen to you. Years to come. One other thing I want women to be careful of is because. Race can be an issue with how people are perceived during the time of pregnancy, and you know United States the maternal mortality. What I mean by that is women are dying during childbirth or after childbirth is really high and black women are two times more likely to die during and after pregnancy than white women. So raises another thing. So if you're a black woman out there who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider. Also, seek care early because there are a lot of research studies that are showing that access to care is one of the reasons why black women are dying more in pregnancy.
And another thing understanding what we call the social determinants of health, how structural racism may be a barrier, meaning that the woman is communicating her problems or communicating her issues and is not being heard and another study showed that the way black women were report. See sometimes it's not being looked after compared to Hawaii counterparts, so these are the high risk things that want women to be aware.
If you have high blood pressure before pregnancy, please talk to your primary care doctor or your healthcare provider if you are greater than 35, make sure you're seeking preconception care before you get pregnant. And if you're a black woman, advocate for yourself. That doesn't mean that it's you're angry. Paganistic book be a collaborator, collaborate with your healthcare provider, Express your views more than two or three times if you feel you're not being heard, and find another provider if you feel that this provider is not really giving you the time of the day for your healthcare. Yeah, we've done stories on that several times and it's so important if you feel like something's going on with your body, you need to get someone to listen to you and to hear what you are saying for sure.
Alright, we're going to continue this talk. Because I want to know what we should do to take care of our hearts when we are starting off with a little one. Because you know who's gonna experience less sleep and a whole lot more stress, right? So we're going to talk about that as soon as we get back from break. We'll be back in just two minutes..