Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Go Red For Women

This isn't strictly a psychiatric post, but it's not about inmates for a change so I guess it's OK. I just thought I'd drop a short note on the blog to remind people to watch their cholesterol, exercise regularly, control your blood pressure and stop smoking. In spite of what the blog says about Death and Hot Fudge Sundaes, do it anyway. I rather like our blog readers and I'd like them to be around for a while. I also thought I'd let people know that the American Heart Association has a program called Go Red For Women, designed to education women that heart disease is their biggest killer.

To bring this into the psychiatric realm, psychiatric disorders are associated with heart disease, particularly clinical depression. Untreated clinical depression is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease as well as death following myocardial infarction. There is some evidence that treatment with SSRI's post-infarct can decrease mortality. It's not known whether there is a direct physiologic effect on the heart from depression, or whether it's due to other factors related to depression that can interfere with compliance with health care such as loss of energy and motivational impairment. So for those of you undergoing treatment for psychiatric disorders, there's another reason to take your meds.

I'm posting a link to an interview about women's cardiac issues, Leading a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle: A Mother and Daughter Perspective, because I think you don't hear enough about taking a family approach to health issues. Every once in a while at the gym I'll see a mother-daughter pair walking around the track or playing in the pool, and it makes me want to give them a pat on the back. What a great legacy to leave your kids. And yes, this counts for fathers too.

For more about heart healthy lifestyle, see the American Heart Association's web site.

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And a word about the picture: it's an anatomically correct chocolate heart. I found it on a web site called Pushin Daisies, a self-described "mortuary novelty shop". Personally, I must have the anatomically correct chocolate brains. Brains, I must have brains.

5 comments:

Sarebear said...

You can get a free Go Red for Women enameled dress pin (the symbol for this awareness effort) HERE. Mine took about 4-6 weeks to arrive. It also came off the pin part, but I have GP Hypo Cement, a jeweler's VERY strong adhesive, which fixed it up right away.

Mine arrived three days ago, and I like it. It looks stylish, and it's small and a nice little accent. (Not affiliated, just love the little pin, besides, it's free, and comes w/some educational info, especially a little wallet-picture sized thin booklet to carry in your wallet of questions to ask your doctor the next time you are in there.)

I look forward to wearing this out, and seeing if anyone else knows what it is, and answer questions if people ask. Cause it's a very cute (not in a cutesy way, but a good way) pin.)

Sorry, I love free jewelry, esp. when it promotes a good cause!!

hedberg said...

Heyyy that's my speech!!!!!

ClinkShrink said...

I thought it sounded a bit familiar; it was missing the part about clinical depression though so I thought I'd throw that in.

NeoNurseChic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jw said...

I take a beta blocker - propranalol for tremor. I've no idea if that has any benefit or harm in terms of heart health. Oh well ...

One thing does concern me ... health education spending has passed the danger point in terms of gender-balance. We're spending so much more on female health education that we're now putting most males at risk. It's a problem which will get worse over the next decade.

YET, I have females in my family who I dearly love. I want the best health care possible for them. Some women are now standing up and saying they want the best possible health care for their menfolk, no one in power is listening to them.

Dualism and dual allegiances ... Politics. Scrambles over funding. It is all VERY confusing.