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As a Woman, What’s My Risk Score For Developing Heart Disease?

Thursday, January 15, 2015
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As a Woman, What's My Risk Score For Developing Heart Disease?
It's only been in this past decade that heart disease has been raised as a worrying issue for women - it was always given more credence as being a 'Man's Diease.' Well, it isn't!

There are several factors that increase a woman's risk of developing heart disease - lifestyle driven factors being modifiable and genetic factors not modifiable. The greater the number of overall risk factors a woman has, the greater is her chance of developing heart disease.

At A Glance – Mentally tally points for the following 10 risks if they apply to you.

  • Family history - Factors not under our control are a) Heredity, b) Age, c) Race & d)Gender. (It is important to recognise heredity factors so that extra care can be taken by a woman whose parent, grandparent, sister or brother has a history of heart disease.)
  • Age/ onset of menopause - Aging increases the risk of heart disease, but the onset of menopause multiplies the risk.
  • Personal history of heart disease - Women who've had a previous heart attack are at higher risk of having a second heart attack; 22 percent of women ages 40 to 69 who survive a first heart attack will have another heart attack or fatal coronary heart disease within five years, and 22 percent ages 40 to 69 who survive a first stroke will have another within five years. A transient ischemic attack (TIA or "mini-stroke") also is a risk factor and predictor of stroke. (American Heart Association)



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User Comments

09 August, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Studies clearly show that premenopausal women are relatively protected from CAD and atherosclerosis as compared to postmenopausal women. Reason being the effects of the female sex hormone (estrogen) which is essential for healthy blood vessels (vasculature) just like the reproductive tissues, bone, liver, and brain.(However the exact mechanism is still not clear).
Probably the high level of homocysteine seen, found to correlate with accelerated cardiovascular disease and identified as an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis is brought about by low levels of estrogen
in post menopausal women.

09 April, 2011 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam Women who have had a history of hypertension or diabetes during pregnancy must keep a close watch on their parameters throughout life, because it is an indication that the systems are not functioning well and they get unmasked during pregnancy.

08 April, 2011 | Parul Bhatnagar | Reply

Parul Bhatnagar Unhealthy diet can contribute to these risk factors. If you eat too much of fried foods and take less than 5 serving of vegetables and 2 serving of fruits in your daily diet then the risk of heart diseases increases.

08 April, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Women especially who have a family history , smoke or have high BP, taking birth control pills greatly increases risk of heart attack and stroke, especially after age 35. Check with your Gyn before you get onto birth control pills to asses your condition and then prescribe.

08 April, 2011 | Dr.Kalyani | Reply

Dr.Kalyani Dear Viji I thought this study would make interesting reading. Its findings showed clearly how physical activity was associated with reduced risk of CVD among women. Inactive women would benefit by even slightly increasing their PA (e.g., walking 1 hour per week or possibly less) and even more from additional PA.

PMID: 15165657 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Most of your articles are highly informative, keep up your good work.

09 April, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Hey Dr Kalyani, Nice hearing from you after a long time. Thank you for the link. Yes, I did go through the study you sent and it did make sense.We need to take regular physical activity seriously as it positively reduces CVD risk. It Also reduces risk of a number of other health problems too like Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes etc. Totally appreciate your input and would like you to interact with us regularly.

09 April, 2011 | Mrinal | Reply

Mrinal Thank you Dr. Kalyani, This was interesting - good suggestion.

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Tags: Cardiovascular Disease, Cholesterol, Chronic Lifestyle Diseases, General health, Heart Health, Hypertension, Sedentary Lifestyle, Women's Health


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