Keeping your heart healthy should be at the top of your to-do list. Some women often don’t worry about heart disease as much as men, but it’s vitally important to take heart health seriously. According to the American Heart Association, 90% of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease at some point in their lives.
“The biggest misconception women have about heart health is that heart disease occurs mostly in men,” said Suzanne Michelle Morton, MD, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Cardiology in Lexington. “In fact, heart disease affects more women than men.”
Understand Your Risk Factors
Many risk factors for heart disease are under your control. By being mindful of your risks and taking steps to protect your heart health, you can lower your chances for heart attack and other conditions. This is especially true as women get older.
“Postmenopausal women are especially prone to developing cardiac risk factors that can lead to coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure,” Dr. Morton said. “The cessation of estrogen can escalate the production of LDL, or bad cholesterol, upping the risk for blockages in arteries.”
To help keep your heart healthy, follow these tips:
- Eat a healthy diet by limiting fats, sugar, and sodium, and drinking plenty of water.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week.
- Get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
- Manage stress.
- Steer clear of smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
To learn more about heart and vascular care, visit CHISaintJosephHealth.org/lexington-heart-vascular-care.