By Ann Work
Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas
Heart of a Woman Brunch speaker Joan Lunden took an informal poll of the 700 women in her Wichita Falls audience Saturday.
She asked how many of the women knew the numbers that represented their blood pressure, cholesterol, resting heart rate and other vital information about their bodies.
She was aghast when only 10 women raised their hands.
“You need to know your numbers!” she said. “You need to know what they mean and what’s normal.”
Lunden, famous for her nearly 20 years as a co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” talk show, was the keynote speaker for United Regional Foundation’s 10th annual Heart of a Woman brunch.
The wear-red event Saturday at the Multi-Purpose Events Center began 10 years ago as a luncheon at the Wichita Falls Country Club.
Today Lunden, at 63, has seven children, including two sets of twins, ages 10 and 8. She has built a new career promoting healthy living, such as heart health, which was Saturday’s topic.
Getting out in front of disease must be a woman’s new goal, she said.
She must monitor her own health, take herself to the doctor with the same regularity that she takes her car to the repair shop, research her family history, keep good records and put them on the Internet where they’ll be accessible in crisis.
“If we all did this, we could change health care in America,” she said.
Such attention to detail is important for busy women, whose symptoms of heart trouble can be subtle: sweating, arm or back pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.
Women’s lives — and their stress levels — have changed markedly since the days when Betty Friedan wrote her game-changing book, “The Feminine Mystique” in an effort to help women live more interesting, happier lives, Lunden said.