Women with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may also have a higher risk of heart disease. Research is ongoing in other heart disease risk factors in women. Is heart disease something only older women should worry about? No. Women of all ages should take heart disease seriously. Women under the age of 65, and especially those with a family history of heart disease, need to pay close attention to heart disease risk factors. What can women do to reduce their risk of heart disease? Women can make several lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart disease, including:
Quit or don't start smoking.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Eat a healthy diet that includes whole grains, a variety of fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and lean meats. Avoid saturated or trans fat, added sugars, and high amounts of salt.
Women also need to take prescribed medications appropriately, such as blood pressure medications, blood thinners and aspirin. And they'll need to better manage other conditions that are risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
This article was written by Mayo Clinic Staff and can be found, with other health and medical information, on mayoclinic.org.
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