What Raises Your Risk for Heart Disease?
About 1 in 16 women age 20 and older have coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease in the U.S.
Risk factors such as family history, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating, smoking, and not managing stress or getting enough sleep can put you at risk for heart disease, even at a young age.
Some risk factors for heart disease are unique to women. Check out these resources for tips on how to understand and manage your personal risk factors:
Certain Communities Are More at Risk
For African American and Hispanic/Latina women, the risk of heart disease is especially great.
Why? African American and Hispanic/Latina women typically have higher rates of health conditions — such as high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, and diabetes — that increase the risk of heart disease. Having more than one risk factor is especially serious because risk factors tend to impact and worsen each other’s effects.
Pregnancy & Heart Health
During pregnancy, your heart works harder than usual to pump blood to you and your baby. Sometimes, the extra stress exposes risks to your heart health that were there before you got pregnant. That extra stress can also cause new problems to emerge during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure (preeclampsia) or gestational diabetes. The good news is that most of these problems are preventable, meaning you can take steps before, during, and after pregnancy to help your heart health. Learn more:
Tips for Living a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
There are many things you can do to protect your heart! Start by learning important heart health terms, numbers you should know, and questions to ask your healthcare provider. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle can protect your heart at any age. Take one goal, or risk factor, at a time then address it by taking small steps. Involve friends and family to make your new activities more enjoyable. The bonus —you get to be accountable to someone who cares about you! Learn more: