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P1136 Women and Heart Disease

77 Smoking. Smoking damages the lining of the blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Research shows that smoking makes women up to six times more likely to have a heart attack. Also, secondhand smoke is dangerous to your health. 77Excess weight. Excess weight makes your heart work harder, and that raises your risk of a heart attack. Being overweight also puts you at risk of developing diabetes. Excess weight around the waist or stomach increases your risk the most. You’re at risk if your BMI (bodymass index) is 25 or higher. 77 Lack of exercise. Without regular exercise, you’re more likely to develop other risk factors, such as being overweight and developing diabetes. High blood pressure and unhealthy lipid levels are also more likely. 77Negative emotions. Emotions such as stress and pent-up anger have been linked to heart disease. Over time, these emotions could raise your heart disease risk. If you have heart disease, emotion such as anxiety and depression can make it worse. 77Metabolic syndrome. This is caused by a combination of certain risk factors. It puts you at extra high risk of heart disease and stroke. If you have three or more of these factors, you are said to have metabolic syndrome: • A high level of triglycerides, or more than 150 mg/dL • A low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, or below 40 mg/dL for men or 50 mg/dL for women • Abdominal obesity, or a waist circumference of greater than 35 inches for women, or greater than 40 inches for men • High blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or greater) • High blood sugar (110 mg/dL or greater) heart disease Controlling risk factors is the key to preventing illness and death from heart disease. 7


P1136 Women and Heart Disease
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