Are You Heart Smart?

Would you know if you're at risk for heart disease? Take the Selecciones "True or False" pop quiz to test your knowledge. It's your health!

1. Hispanics don't get much heart disease.

False. In fact, Hispanics develop more heart disease than whites. "Many Latinos are unaware that they suffer from diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, all of which increase their risk," says Mauricio G. Cohen, a cardiologist, researcher and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina.

2. Heart disease is mostly a male condition.

False. Heart disease is the number one killer of Hispanic women, who die from it even more often than Hispanic men. "Latinas are terrified of breast cancer, but the numbers aren't even close," says Cohen. After menopause, your risk goes way up, especially if you're overweight, smoke, and/or have poor exercise and eating habits.

3. You can have a heart attack with no chest pain.

True. While men usually have chest pain, women might experience only neck or back pain, pressure or tightness in the chest, nausea, dizziness, and/or sudden tiredness. If you have any symptoms, call 911 immediately.

4. If you're fated to get heart disease, you can't do much about it.

False. Begin by getting your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar tested at your annual checkup. Then take your doctor's advice about eating right and exercising. –Nancy Kalish

Find Out Your Own Risk

The American Heart Association has a website directed to women Go Red for Women, with lots of essential heart health information. Take the online chequeo cardiaco at www.goredforwomen.org/Healthcheck_Spanish_Version/index.htm to identify your own personal risk factors.

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