Risk factors for women with heart disease

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Heart disease risk factors for women

Although several traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — affect women and men, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. For example, risk factors may include:

  • Diabetes. Women with diabetes are at greater risk of heart disease than are men with diabetes.
  • Mental stress and depression. Women’s hearts are affected by stress and depression more than men’s. Depression makes it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow recommended treatment, so talk to your doctor if you’re having symptoms of depression.
  • Smoking. In women, smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than it is in men.
  • Inactivity. A lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for heart disease, and some research has found women to be more inactive than men.
  • Menopause. Low levels of estrogen after menopause pose a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease in the smaller blood vessels (coronary microvascular disease).
  • Broken heart syndrome. This condition — often brought on by stressful situations that can cause severe, but usually temporary, heart muscle failure — occurs more commonly in women after menopause. This condition may also be called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, apical ballooning syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy.
  • Pregnancy complications. High blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy can increase women’s long-term risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and increase the risk of development of heart disease in the mothers.

    Some research has found that if you had pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure or diabetes your children may also have an increased risk of heart disease in the future.

Author: connie dello buono

Health educator, author and enterpreneur motherhealth@gmail.com or conniedbuono@gmail.com ; cell 408-854-1883 Helping families in the bay area by providing compassionate and live-in caregivers for homebound bay area seniors. Blogs at www.clubalthea.com Developing a new site, www.avatarcare.net , for early cancer detection using genetics tests, telemedicine with electronic appointment scheduling with doctors, video chat with doctors, matching care providers with health consumers and a health concierge for all to reduce chronic care cost, find cancer cure and coordinate health care using predictive medicine and participatory.

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