Tags: heart | disease | women | rising | premenopause | heart | attacks

Women's Heart Disease Risk Increasing

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012 12:34 PM


If you're aged 35 to 54, your risk of heart disease is alarmingly increasing, warn health experts — and this is especially true if you're a woman.
"Women account for more than 50 percent of deaths due to heart disease and 60 percent of stroke deaths," in the United States, says Dr. Holly Andersen, the director of education and outreach for the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, in a news release.
What's the first measure of protecting your heart? "Eat right, be active, attempt to get a good night's sleep, practice stress reduction, and enjoy fun times with friends," Andersen said. "Women who regularly spend time with close friends have less heart disease."
Also know the warning signs: rather than the crushing chest pain generally associated with a heart attack, women are more likely to experience neck, shoulder, or abdominal pain. Others may experience nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or shortness of breath.
Know your risk factors: you are at a higher risk of heart attack if you are obese or overweight, a smoker, or have high cholesterol and/or diabetes. Smoking greatly increases the risk of heart attack for women under the age of 45. The combination of smoking and birth control pills increases a woman's risk by at least 20-fold.
Also Andersen suggests talking to your doctor about a simple blood test to check your C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels — high levels are a marker of inflammation that has been shown to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular risk.

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The risk of heart disease in people 35 to 54 years of age is rising at an alarming rate, say health experts, especially if you're a woman.
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