According to the American Heart Association, heart disease causes one in three deaths each year, making it the number one killer of women - affecting women at any age and at any time.
Heart Disease Risk Factors For Women
Most women don't realize their risk factors for heart disease can be different than those for men. Age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and family history are certainly known risk factors, but there are also other unique factors specific to women. Following menopause, risk for heart disease statistically equalizes, but these unique factors are identified:
- Women with high job stress have a much higher risk for heart disease and heart attack.
- Conditions involving chronic inflammation such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis nearly double a woman's risk.
- Pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes can increase risk for heart disease and stroke later in life.
- Metabolic syndrome – a combination of fat around your abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high triglycerides – has a greater impact for heart disease and heart attack on women than on men.
- Smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than in men.
- Following menopause, low levels of estrogen pose a significant risk factor for developing heart disease in smaller blood vessels.
Reduce Your Heart Disease Risk: Lifestyle Changes
There are things you can do in your everyday life to reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attack. Lifestyle changes that make a big difference include:
- Adopting strategies to reducing stress as possible
- Eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean protein with low intake of highly processed foods and sugar
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining healthy weight and mobility
Learn More About Women's Heart Health
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