The risks for heart disease in men and women are similar, though some risks are more serious for women. The major risk factors include:
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease in women. More than 50 percent of heart attacks in women are related to tobacco use.
Being more than 20 pounds overweight greatly increases your risk for heart problems.
High Blood Pressure
More than 60 percent of all women older than age 65 have high blood pressure.
All women older than age 20 should have their cholesterol levels checked.
Being sedentary can greatly increase your risk for heart disease. Even a simple, regular walking program can boost your heart health.
Women with diabetes are three to seven times more likely to have heart disease. This is in contrast to a two- to threefold increase in heart disease for men with diabetes.
Black women have a higher incidence of heart disease than white women.
It’s Never Too Early or Too Late to Reduce Your Risk
Regardless of your age or if you are a woman or man, talk to your physician about heart disease. Ask your doctor about what you can do to reduce your risk. Discuss your personal health history, and inform your doctor if you have a family history of early death from heart disease.