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Heart Disease in Women - Who's at Risk? February 11, 2010

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Rebecca Sylvester at 706/828-2394.

Heart Disease in Women -- Who's at Risk?

AUGUSTA, GA. (Feb. 9, 2010) - One in eight women between the ages of 45 and 64 has some form of heart disease. This increases to one in four women over the age of 65. 

February is Heart Health month and Beth Barranco, RN, said more women are at risk than they realize.

"Heart disease in women can occur at all ages, even as young as 30 and 40," she said. "However, there are women who are more at risk than others." They are women who:

  • smoke
  • abuse alcohol
  • are overweight/obese
  • have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • are diabetic
  • are physically inactive
  • suffer from stress/depression
  • or have a family history

"Also, women who have gone through early menopause either naturally or because they had a hysterectomy are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women their same age that have not yet experienced menopause," she added.

While certain risk factors such as family history and age can't be modified or changed, women have control over many other risk factors.

"So it is important that we take control and protect our hearts as best we can," Ms. Barranco said.

The most important thing women can do is make vital changes that address each risk factor, Ms. Barranco explained. "It does us no good to walk on a regular basis or swim everyday if we are going to continue to smoke or eat high fatty foods," she said.

  • 33 percent of women 40-60 years of age have one risk factor that they can change
  • 31 percent of women in midlife have two modifiable risk factors they can change
  • 17 percent of women have three modifiable risk factors

"Exercising, eating healthy, stress management, controlling diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol as well as hormone replacement therapy can all decrease the risk of heart disease and/or heart attacks in women," she said.

Just a reminder of the upcoming event by University Hospital 

University Hospital's Smart Heart Expo
Saturday, Feb. 27
9 a.m.-2 p.m.
North Augusta Community Center
495 Brookside Ave.
North Augusta, SC
 
We'll provide the education, encouragement and support to help you embark on a healthier lifestyle - and all of it is absolutely free!
 
For more information on heart health or to request a Heart Information Kit, call University's Heart Line at 706/828-2828 or toll free 866/601-2828.

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