HEART ATTACK RISK FACTORS FOR WOMEN

Read more about the heart health risks women face, share them with someone you care about, and learn more about how to live a heart-healthy life.

LEARN THE HEART ATTACK RISK FACTORS WOMEN FACE

Both women and men face certain heart health risk factors – many that are related to lifestyle choices – but some risks affect women differently. Moreover, there are risks unique to women, so whether you’re a woman or care about one, learn the facts and share them to help more women live heart-healthy lives.

LIFESTYLE HEART HEALTH RISKS

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SMOKING IS A GREATER HEART HEALTH RISK FOR WOMEN THAN MEN

Smoking as few as 1 to 4 cigarettes per day doubles your chance of heart attack. Exposure to secondhand smoke also puts you more at risk for heart disease, including heart attack or stroke.

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DIABETES POSES HIGHER HEART HEALTH RISKS FOR DIABETIC WOMEN THAN DIABETIC MEN

Women are generally affected by heart issues an average of 10 years later in life than men, but their advantage only applies to those who don’t have diabetes. It’s a major heart attack and stroke risk factor, so managing your risk as a diabetic is one of the smartest heart-healthy moves you can make.

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INACTIVITY RAISES RISK OF SEVERAL HEART HEALTH RISKS

Exercising on a regular basis can make a big difference in heart health, reducing risk of heart disease and even helping you control high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends at least 2.5 hours of weekly, moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week — or a combination of both — spread throughout the week, preferably. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise routine, and then get started with the basics.

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METABOLIC SYNDROME IS THE BIGGEST HEART HEALTH RISK FOR WOMEN

Some studies suggest that metabolic syndrome is the greatest risk women face. It includes having high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, excess weight in the midsection, and high blood sugar. If you have one or more of these, work with your doctor to help make lifestyle changes such as being more active, eating healthier, and “watching your numbers” (keeping cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure in check).

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OTHER RISKS WOMEN SHOULD KNOW

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OLDER WOMEN FACE GREATER HEART HEALTH RISKS

It’s true being older increases risk, but heart attacks can happen to anyone at any age. Young, old or somewhere in between, heart health for all women should be an important concern. Women after menopause need to watch their cholesterol levels because lower estrogen can raise “bad” cholesterol. And all women need to work with their doctors to know and manage their own risks – especially since compared to men, women are 2 times more likely die of a heart attack within the first few weeks after the event.

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FAMILY HISTORY OF HEART HEALTH ISSUES CAN RAISE YOUR RISK OF HEART ATTACK

If someone in your family had a heart attack, you may be more at risk – but not always. That’s why it’s important to know the specific risks you face and work with your health care providers to manage them.

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RACE AND ETHNICITY CAN RAISE HEART HEALTH RISKS

Certain groups – African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and some Asians or Pacific Islanders – tend to be more likely to have heart attacks. Like other risks you can’t control, however, focusing on the risks you’re able to control go a long way toward managing the racial or ethnic risks.

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PREGNANCY ISSUES MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH RISK

If you had high blood pressure, including preeclampsia-eclampsia, or diabetes during pregnancy, there’s a chance you could develop heart health issues in the long-term. As with other risks you can’t control, it’s important to work with your doctor to understand all your risks. Control the ones you can with lifestyle changes while managing the ones you can’t with medical treatment.

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STRESS, DEPRESSION & ANXIETY RAISE SEVERAL HEART HEALTH RISKS

Whether it’s work, family, or just life in general, stress, depression and anxiety can take a toll. While it may be a challenge to find the right mix of approaches that work, taking care of your mental health is taking care of your heart health.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT HEART HEALTH

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Are You at Risk for a Heart Attack?

The link between age, blood pressure, stress and heart attacks is well known. Learn about these and other factors that can impact your risk.

SEE YOUR RISK FACTORS
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Why Your Prescription Medications May Not Be Enough

If you take medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, they may not be enough to protect you from having another heart attack or clot-related (ischemic) stroke. Find out more to discuss with your doctor.

LEARN HOW ASPIRIN COULD HELP
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Aspirin Therapy Benefits to Prevent Another Heart Attack

Learn how a doctor-directed aspirin regimen may help prevent another heart attack or clot-related (ischemic) stroke.

VIEW ASPIRIN’S BENEFITS
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Genetic Risk Factors for Heart Attack

Find out how your genes can impact your heart – and how you can work with your doctor to manage your risks.

SEE YOUR RISK FACTORS
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Diabetes & Heart Disease: Managing Your Risks

Get information on the link between diabetes and heart disease and what you can do to limit your risks.

MANAGE YOUR RISK FACTORS
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6 Medication Reminder Tips

Get simple tips that can help you remember to take your medication.

GET MEDICATION REMINDER TIPS
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Ask Your Doctor About Heart Attack Risks

Get tips and answers to some questions designed to help you have a productive dialogue at your next appointment.

SEE QUESTIONS FOR YOUR DOCTOR
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After a Heart Attack: Talking to Your Doctor

After a heart attack, you may feel a little lost. Arm yourself with some questions to ask the doctor during your visit.

SEE QUESTIONS FOR YOUR DOCTOR
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A Glossary of Heart Health Terms

Explore this resource to help understand the terminology your doctor uses – so you can have more meaningful discussions.

LEARN HEART-HEALTH TERMS
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Partner Up & Make Exercise Part of Your Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

Exercising with a partner can be as fun as it is good for your heart. Get some ideas for exercises you can add to your routine, and share them with the people you care about.

SEE PARTNER EXERCISES
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Heart-Healthy Exercise: Just the Basics

Get tips on creating an exercise routine that will help you build strength and endurance.

LEARN EXERCISE BASICS
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6 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Exercise Routine

From how to mix up your exercise routine to the importance of accountability, our simple tips can help you stay on plan.

GET TIPS TO KEEP MOVING
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5 Surprisingly Fun Exercises

Check out some fun activities and workout ideas that can help make your workouts something you'll look forward to.

TRY THESE 5 FUN EXERCISES
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Incorporate Cardiac Rehab into Your Recovery Plan

From exercises to emotional support – learn what to expect from a cardiac rehabilitation program.

LEARN ABOUT CARDIAC REHAB
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Heart Healthy Foods You Can Actually Enjoy

Find out what foods to include in your heart healthy diet. There are lots of heart healthy foods that are also delicious!

TRY THESE HEALTHY FOODS
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A Support System May Help You Recover from Your Heart Attack

After a heart attack, you don't have to go it alone. With local and online heart attack support groups, help is available. And don’t forget about your family, friends, and healthcare providers.

BUILD A SUPPORT SYSTEM
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Coping with Depression After a Heart Attack

Read about the relationship between depression and heart disease, and why it's so important to get help.

COPE WITH DEPRESSION
Heart Attack Risk Factors in Women

Take Our Women’s Heart-Health Quiz

Learn about heart disease in women. Take our quiz on women's heart health to learn about the risk factors, signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women.

START THE HEART-HEALTH QUIZ
Heart Attack Risk Factors for Women

Heart Attack Risk Factors for Women

Common risk factors that cause heart attacks in women include diabetes, genetics, and more. Learn from our Infographic on heart attack risk factors in women.

SEE YOUR RISK FACTORS
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MANAGING RISK:

WHY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS MAY NOT BE ENOUGH

If you take prescription medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, they may not be enough to protect your heart. Talk to your doctor about whether these medications are enough for you and whether adding an aspirin regimen can help further reduce the risk of another heart attack or clot-related (ischemic) stroke.

LEARN HOW ASPIRIN COULD HELP

Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. 

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CARRY ASPIRIN.
HELP SAVE A LIFE.

Do you know what to do the moment you suspect someone's having a heart attack?

Aspirin regimen products for recurrent heart attack prevention

Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.

HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR STORIES

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BETTY B

"I am thankful for each day and the opportunities it brings to share my experiences with others."

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KEN L

"I’ve changed my diet to minimize fat and salt. I’m learning to read labels and make healthy choices."

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CINDY B

"It all comes down to listening – the cardiologists listening to us, and not just with their stethoscopes – and us listening to the cardiologists. Without both of these, there are no winners!"

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RANDY W

"I now take a low dose Bayer Aspirin regimen, and I was told that the aspirin I was given during my heart attack helped save my life! Thanks for being there for me Bayer!"

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This tool is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, medical advice, or medical treatment. Contact your healthcare provider after using the tool to discuss your heart health or if you have any health concerns.

Estimated risk of a cardiovascular event, specifically, the risk of a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) or stroke in the next five years.