As a woman, your risk of cardiovascular or heart disease increases with age. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over 40. Over 400,000 U.S. women die of heart disease every year, the equivalent of approximately one death per minute.
Cardiovascular disease is often connected to menopause, which occurs naturally in women usually between 45 and 55. The loss of natural estrogen during menopause may contribute to a higher risk of heart disease after menopause. That’s why traditional risk factors for heart disease should be addressed after menopause.
Reduce and Control Your Cardiovascular Risk
You can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease using these important strategies:
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight and/or maintain ideal body weight
- Reduce saturated fat and trans-fat (partially hydrogenated fat as in margarine)
- Exercise over 30 minutes four or more times per week
- Increase fiber, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas), fruits, vegetables and fish
- Control diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure (all major risk factors)
Just as with men, women can reduce their cardiovascular risks through lifestyle modifications and, in some cases, with medications to control blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Women with risk factors should have an assessment, including:
- Complete lipid panel screening (high cholesterol)
- C-reactive protein screening
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
- Glucose screening (diabetes)
- High blood pressure screening
Let Eastern Shore Heart Center guide you toward a healthy heart. For your concerns about atrial fibrillation, valvular heart disease, coronary vascular disease or congestive heart failure or to schedule your visit, call us at 251.990.1930. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your preferred consultation time. Our female patients come to us from Foley, Gulf Shores, Spanish Fort, Fairhope and Daphne in Baldwin County, AL and nearby areas in Mobile County.