Your Heart and Health Matters.
Linda Worrall-Carter is the founder of Her Heart and a cardiac nurse who spent 15 years in research and looking after human hearts and her story starts with the inspiration of her mother.
Linda comes from a long line of caregivers and nurses – her mother was a midwife and Chief Nurse Officer; and along with her aunties, who were all nurses, she was inspired to follow into the same profession.
Taking an interest in cardiac nursing, Linda taught nursing and gradually progressed to research and the title of Professor. Over time Linda noticed there weren’t as many women in the coronary care units and felt that women were not being treated the same as men. It became evident that she had to change direction and she suddenly realised exactly what her gift to the world should be.
“I noticed a rapid increase in heart related disease in women – we lose 1 woman an hour in Australia and in the US this has now progressed to 1 every 80 seconds. In fact, women are now 3 times more likely to die from heart disease than cancer, but it’s getting no-where near the same attention.”
Women aged 25 – 40 years old are most at risk, and while there are many factors the one which is not so widely recognised (and might come as a surprise) is a lack of sleep.
“We’re not getting anywhere near enough sleep. It’s recommended we get 7 – 9 hours and there are people not even getting 5 or 6 hours. It’s leading to short attention spans, overeating, storing of extra fat, and changes to our hormones which can lead to poor heart health as well as anxiety and depression”.
Linda wants to empower women to take care of their hearts and reduce their risk by looking after themselves and putting their health first.
“All of the research point to heart disease being 80% preventable, but the impact I was having as a Professor was not enough so I decided to set up HerHeart – a not-for-profit focussed on awareness and prevention”
Her Heart is now fighting heart disease around the world and is the ‘go to’ place for prevention, education and the latest research findings into heart disease.
“My goal is to reduce heart disease by 50% by 2025. Given Her Heart received charity status in 3 months, and we were in over 75 countries with 5000 people a month visiting the website in the first 6 months of launching, plus we have received over half a million in partnership support, I believe this goal is very realistic”
Linda’s special message for all of us is to ‘switch off the laptop and devices. Get out of the house, exercise and enjoy mother-earth. Get some sleep. Be kind to yourself, reflect, be compassionate and schedule a heart health check with your GP’.
Find out how you can help us increase awareness of the importance of taking care your heart (and your life) by following them on Facebook, visiting the Her Heart website and signing up to their newsletter or making a donation here – every little bit counts towards improving the health of all women.
Originally published in Team Women Australia on June 27, 2017.