This morning on today's checklist we are focusing on how to keep your heart healthy in honor of American Heart month from the numbers to keep an eye on to the Daily habits that can set you up for Success Dr Jennifer ha is a cardiologist at New York Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center and she's here to go through it all with us.
Dr Jen good morning good morning good morning so I know this is just information that keeps needing to be reiterated there are numbers we should watch out for and what exactly are those yeah it's really important especially since I think you'll be getting a lot of information on your phone now and you'll be reading your own lab work so let's.
Talk about blood pressure less than 120 over 80 and this is really important these are relatively recent guidelines we want our blood pressure much lower than we used to and it's especially important for women to prevent stroke bad cholesterol less than 70 good cholesterol greater than 60 okay yeah eight essential behaviors according to.
The American Heart Association that we should be aware of what are those what are those behaviors yeah so the American Heart Association came out with the essent eight and you know these are the traditional you know don't smoke eat healthy exercise they added sleep most recently which is really important they've realized that getting you know.
Seven to to nine hours of sleep a night is really important yeah for adults for adults yeah children you know need a lot more sleep than that brain development happening there they're always so sleepy in the morning and at night it's so hard for me to get them to go to bed um let's talk about checks that we should be doing at home okay so you know this is.
Really important a lot of my patients ask me this a lot so first of all blood pressure cuff if you're going to have one make sure the batteries are up to date because that's a big one they get can give all crazy numbers when it's not ready yeah when the batter's old so make sure you got fresh batteries check your blood pressure now and then don't obsess.
About it a scale important to watch your Trend doesn't have to be you know don't have to get crazy about it but just watch how you're going which direction um there's a lot of Technology out there fit technology keep a track of your heart rate you know the lower your heart rate 50 60 range usually means you're pretty fit your resting heart rate and.
Then when you exercise it goes up and it should come down pretty fast we don't want to see it taking a long time where your heart rate staying up in the 120 range so just keep track of it know what it's like um and then finally know your body if you feel anything strange happening if You' noticed you know I'm going to the subway and it's feeling.
Harder going up those stairs or running for the bus take note of that tell tell your doctor well speaking of that what are what are some of the signs we need to look out for if we think we might be experiencing like a heart attack so the traditional you know chest pressure an elephant sitting on your chest dizziness lightheadedness but an important one.
Nausea epigastric pain I've seen a lot of women in particular Who start having nausea vomiting think that they have you know some kind of you know food poisoning and it turns out they're having a hard attack so you know really pay attention to those big ones shortness of breath swelling in your legs and there are certain communities.
That need to be more mindful than others can you talk to us about that well you know it's really important that we think about uh PR women and pregnant women so maternal mortality has been on the rise we know especially in black and brown women so you know four times more likely to die in child birth and the main risk factor is cardiovascular disease at this.
Point but also you know women are have other risk factors now so we know like severe preclampsia if you had that in your pregnancy you're at increased risk for heart disease if you have an autoimmune disease like lupus or thyroid disease or polycystic ovary again higher risk for heart disease later in life and then obviously early menopause because.
Menopause is when estrogen LS drop and you know it's important to remember that estrogen we feel is protective of the heart so let's let's end on a high note here and talk about some of the advancements that have been made in this particular area because there have been Myriad so many so first of all we have so many great medications now to treat.
Heart disease so that's number one number two we have pumps now elad pumps that can help people with heart failure live for year even up to 10 years 15 years sometimes we have you know we can uh take valves through the leg and replace people's valves without opening their anymore fascinating yeah and then we have better stance and we have heart.
Transplant always ultimately for people with endstage heart disease wow that was very very helpful Dr Jen thank you so much thank you hey thanks for watching don't miss the Today's Show every weekday at 11 a.m. eastern 8 Pacific on our streaming Channel today all day to watch head to today.com all or click the link right here.