Home » The hearts of adolescents, advice for taking care of them – Medicine

The hearts of adolescents, advice for taking care of them – Medicine

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The hearts of adolescents, advice for taking care of them – Medicine

Among teenage girls, hearts are a key element of communication. In many cases, heart emojis punctuate texts, and heart-shaped hands frame selfies on social media. But girls rarely think of their heart as an important organ that needs to be taken care of.

While good health may be a given for most, experts at the American Heart Association (AHA) say there are some things teens should know. Some studies have shown, for example, that atherosclerosis, the thickening of the arteries, can begin to develop as early as adolescence. ‘Hardened’ or narrowed arteries block blood flow and can lead to heart attacks, strokes or other problems later in life.

The AHA encourages young women to stay physically active, eat a diet high in fiber, fruits and vegetables and low in fat, maintain a healthy weight, get a good night’s sleep and not smoke or use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Organized sports, dance or exercise classes are good places to start. Even though most teenagers have healthy hearts, it’s important to notice signs or symptoms that something might be wrong and talk to someone about it.

Furthermore, according to experts, pregnancy is a great stress, especially for the heart. Pregnant teenagers may be at high risk for preeclampsia, a condition that can cause very high blood pressure. Additionally, be aware that pregnancy can be especially problematic if a teen has an underlying congenital heart defect or cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension or obesity, which can lead to complications. “Some forms of progestin contraception are safer for girls with pre-existing heart conditions,” notes Dr. Judith Simms-Cendan of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Finally, a rapid heartbeat could be a sign of heart problems, but also of anxiety. In any case, it is worth getting checked and treating this disorder too.

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