Heart disease or cardiovascular disease is consistently among the primary reasons for death in women. Over the years, a greater number of women than men have breathed their last due to cardiovascular disease. The best way to prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease in women is by adhering to a healthy as well as a hearty lifestyle. Also, the prevention process must include detecting in advance the major risk factors and treating them. Preventative measures should be taken by all women.

Shift in emphasis

There are a number of organizations around the world that provide physicians with a particularly lucid plan for treating as well as assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease. In years past, a lot of emphasis was given to preventive efforts and treatment of individual heart disease cases in isolation. Over the years, the priority has shifted from treatment of individual cardiovascular risk to the overall cardiovascular risk in women.

Prior history of coronary heart disease, chronic kidney problems, or diabetes can further enhance the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Risk factors of cardiovascular disease in women

Before looking into the preventive measures for limiting the risk of heart disease in women, let’s shed some light on the risk factors for heart diseases. They are:

  • high cholesterol level
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • age factor
  • family history of heart problems
  • birth control pills
  • smoking
  • atrial fibrillation
  • gender (where women are at greater risk than men)
  • excess alcohol intake
  • prior case of heart attack or stroke
  • physical inactivity
  • hormone replacement therapy


Preventive measures

The ideal conditions to render a woman free from the risk of heart or cardiovascular disease are:

  • ideal total cholesterol level, i.e., less than 200mg/dL
  • absence of clinical cardiovascular disease
  • ideal blood pressure level, i.e., less than 120/80 mm Hg
  • ideal level of fasting blood glucose, i.e., less than 100mg/DL
  • abstinence from smoking
  • maintaining lean body mass index, i.e., less than 25kg/m2
  • engaging in regular physical activities at recommended levels
  • maintaining a healthy eating pattern and emphasizing a plant-based Mediterranean diet

Hence, lifestyle changes play a major role in eliminating the risk of heart disease in women.

Other preventive measures that can keep a woman away from stroke and heart disease are:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Maintaining or reducing weight
  • Undergoing statin therapy
  • Using diet therapy
  • Taking aspirin as prescribed

Awareness is another important factor that determines the amount of risk you have for heart disease. There should be an overall enhancement in the level of awareness for heart disease among women. Also, community and national prevention programs along with educational programs play a significant role in improving awareness and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It has been observed that awareness of heart attack risk is particularly low among black and Hispanic women.

Going for regular check-ups from a reputable healthcare service provider, hospital, or clinic can detect the risks of heart disease in women.

Since 2001, Dr. Alexander Salerno has led Salerno Medical Associates in East Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Alexander Salerno focuses largely on urban communities and on delivering patient education about both medical and behavioral health issues, including alcohol addiction.