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Survivor shares cardiovascular health story

Just ahead of National Wear Red Day
Posted at 9:37 AM, Jan 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-27 09:37:02-05

ESTERO, Fla. — Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women and the leading cause of maternal mortality.

Cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar intake, and your body mass index are all crucial to know in order to detect and manage heart disease.

Cotrenia Hood is a cardiovascular disease survivor.

"It goes back a very long time, I was in my 20s and my mother had a really bad heart incident," she said.

Cardio vascular issues run on both sides of her family. This predisposition led her to a supraventricular tachycardia diagnosis.

One of her scariest encounters with the condition was when her heart rate reached 222 beats per minute.

"Actually I had a broach on that day and the broach was trembling," Hood said.

Janeth Castrejon works for the American Heart Association and advocates for people like Cotrenia Hood and her family.

"Nearly 45 percent of women over the age of 20 have some form of cardiovascular disease and they're not even aware," Castrejon said.

She says these are practical steps to manage heart health:

  • Remove stressors
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Rest
  • Check blood pressure often
  • Share your knowledge of the disease with others

"National Wear Red day is Friday February 2, and the American Heart Association is asking everyone to support the Go Red for Women movement by wearing red," Castrejon said.
Cotrenia Hood has had an ablation and she's now lived a little over a year with no racing heart.

"It had gotten to points when I couldn't get down my driveway without being out of breath, but now I'm on the other side of it, and I'm really excited to be here," Hood said.