The leading cause of death for American women is coronary heart disease, the cause of heart attacks. According to the American Heart Association, these are the primary risk factors:
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight
- Having a family history of early heart disease
- High blood cholesterol
- Being physically inactive
- Age (55 or older for women)
Things to do to stay healthy and prevent heart disease:
- Don’t smoke, and if you do, quit. Women who smoke are two to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than nonsmoking women. Smoking also increases the risk of stroke and cancer.
- Aim for a healthy weight. Obesity causes many deaths that could be prevented.
- Get moving. Make a commitment to be more physically active. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
- Healthy eating habits. Moderate the total fat in your diet and choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
- Know your numbers. Have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose checked periodically and strive to improve and maintain numbers in a normal range.