ANSWERS: 1
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common cause of heart disease in women is coronary artery disease. Taking preventative measures like diet and exercise is extremely important, and a lack of diet and exercise may be the reason heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.

    Risk Factors

    There are several risk factors for heart disease that both men and women need to be aware of, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several factors that play a larger role in women than men, such as metabolic syndrome, depression, smoking and low estrogen levels.

    Prevention

    Women should get their blood pressure levels checked every 1 to 2 years because high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Don't smoke and limit your alcohol intake to 1 to 2 drinks. Get tested for diabetes and routinely get your cholesterol levels checked. Most importantly, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.

    Diet and Exercise

    Women who are looking to avoid heart disease should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Conversely, you should avoid trans fats, saturated fats, sugar and sodium. Women should aim to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Even an activity like walking can help prevent heart disease in women.

    Healthy Weight

    Obesity is a large reason heart disease is the number one killer of women. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should maintain a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or lower. Losing just 10 or 15 pounds may help decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

    Age

    Women of all ages should be thinking about preventative measures for heart disease since it's the No. 1 killer of women. According to the Mayo Clinic, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women 65 and up, the third largest cause of death for women ages 25 to 44 and the second leading cause of death for women between the ages of 45 and 64.

    Source:

    nlm.nih.gov: Heart Disease in Women

    womenshealth.gov: Heart Disease FAQs

    mayoclinic.com: Heart Disease in Women

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