Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women, but fortunately, there are many preventative measures one can take in order to reduce the risk. The FDA cardiologist Dr. Shari Targum said in a news release, “The risk of heart disease increases for everyone as they age. For women, the risk goes up after menopause, but younger women can also develop heart disease.”
The FDA has created six effective preventative tips for women aimed at lowering their risk of heart disease. These tips include:
- Control your risk factors: Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, so it’s important to manage these conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider about an effective treatment plan.
- Don’t smoke: If you smoke, try to quit.
- Maintain a healthy weight and get regular physical activity: “Walking may be one easy way to start. Talk to your healthcare provider about how much activity is right for you,” Targum said.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet: A diet that’s full of vegetables and fruits and whole grains is good for your heart. Limit the amount of saturated fat and sugary beverages in your diet.
- Talk with your doctor about aspirin: Daily use of low-dose aspirin is not right for everyone. Aspirin can have side effects, so talk with your healthcare provider first.
- Know the symptoms of a heart attack: Symptoms of heart attack in women can be different from those in men. For women they may include shortness of breath, nausea, and an ache or feeling of tightness in the chest, arm, neck, jaw, or abdomen. “If you have these symptoms and suspect you’re having a heart attack, call 911,” Targum said.
The FDA also recommends that women work closely with their health team to make a heart-health plan in order to reduce their risks even further.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Stop believing this popular heart health tip.