Heart disease is no longer considered a "man's disease." In fact, heart disease causes more deaths in women than all cancers combined. The Heart and Vascular Center at Chester County Hospital provides care for the full spectrum of women’s heart health
To be proactive in your own heart health, women should know the risk factors of heart disease.
Risk Factors for Women
Some risk factors include:
Heart Healthy Preventative Measures for Women
Incorporating a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent heart disease. Some things women can do include:
- Get active. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Incorporating 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week can help strengthen the heart and promote better blood flow.
- Control your cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind) and high levels of triglycerides increases your risk of heart disease, while having a high level of HDL cholesterol (the "good" kind) reduces your risk.
- Eat a heart healthy diet by limiting fatty, processed and fried foods and incorporating more fruit and vegetables
- Manage blood pressure. Hypertension (high blood pressure) causes damage to artery walls making them thin and stretched -- ultimately causing complications like stroke and aneurysms. Taking steps to control high blood pressure will help prevent and limit damage. Your health care provider will be able to assist you with finding the right treatment plan to manage your blood pressure.
- Control your weight. Obesity is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels, which all increase your risk of heart disease. Losing just 10% of your body weight can improve your health.
- Stop smoking. Smoking raises triglycerides, lowers your HDL cholesterol (the "good" kind) and makes blood more likely to clot and block blood flow from the heart.
Estimate your risk for heart disease by taking a free online heart risk assessment.