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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

SMOKING

IS A GREATER HEART HEALTH RISK FOR WOMEN THAN MEN

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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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INACTIVITY

RAISES RISK OF SEVERAL HEART HEALTH RISKS

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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

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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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DIABETES

POSES HIGHER HEART HEALTH RISKS FOR DIABETIC WOMEN THAN DIABETIC MEN

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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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OTHER RISKS WOMEN SHOULD KNOW

OLDER WOMEN

FACE GREATER HEART HEALTH RISKS

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Bayer Low Dose Aspirin bottle next to unmarked prescription bottles

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.

TELL ME HOW ASPIRIN HELPS

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

CARRY ASPIRIN.
HELP SAVE A LIFE.

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

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HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR STORIES