Reports have confirmed that Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died of a heart attack on Thursday at just 54 years old.
According to TMZ, paramedics rushed to Presley’s home on Thursday after a housekeeper found her unresponsive. Emergency responders were able to regain a pulse before transporting her to the hospital where she later went into cardiac arrest.
Presley was an accomplished singer-songwriter and mother of four. Just two days prior to her death, Presley attended the Golden Globe Awards to support her friend Austin Butler. So, to say that her passing has come as a surprise is an understatement.
The tragedy is a cruel reminder that heart disease can affect anyone, no matter age or sex. It is important to note that Presley had been open about her struggles with opioid abuse, an issue that causes an increased risk of heart disease or cardiac arrest.
Addiction notwithstanding, Presley was already at an increased risk for heart disease given her genetic background. Her grandmother, the Presley matriarch, died of a heart attack at just 46 years old. The rock and roll legend himself died of cardiac arrest at just 42 years old.
Heart Disease Is The #1 Killer Of Women In The U.S.
According to Go Red For Women, an organization that advocates for women’s heart disease awareness, there is a dangerous misconception that it’s a “men’s disease.” According to the foundation, in the United States, heart disease kills more women than men every year. It’s also “more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.”
Per its 2018 statistics, the CDC ranks heart disease as the number one killer of women in the U.S., no matter their age, race, or background.
Thankfully, there are plenty of avenues women have to reduce their risk. The first thing women should do is get educated. Know your family history and understand the warning signs!
While we’re often taught that the tell-tale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain, women are actually more likely to experience a myriad of other symptoms like nausea, back pain, and shortness of breath.
The next step is to monitor yourself. The American Heart Association recommends getting your cholesterol and other risk factors assessed every four to six years as long as you’re deemed low-risk. That frequency greatly increases in accordance with your risk level.
The final and arguably most important step is to just take care of yourself. Cut out harmful habits like smoking and frequent drinking. Diet and exercise are crucial to your heart health as well. A healthy diet and frequent moderate to intense exercise can do wonders for reducing your risk of contracting heart disease.
While it’s tragic that it often takes someone’s death to re-assess our own health, we’re lucky that organizations like Go Red For Women provide the resources for women to greatly reduce their risk of heart disease!