Cardiovascular Disease in Women
One reason some women aren't too concerned about cardiovascular disease is that they think it can be "cured" with surgery. This is a myth. For men and women, cardiovascular disease is a lifelong condition -- once you get it, you'll always have it. Procedures for the heart and brain can help blood and oxygen flow more easily. However, the arteries still remain damaged, which means you are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Also, the condition of your blood vessels will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits. Many women become permanently disabled or even die from the complications of cardiovascular disease. That's why it is so vital to take action to prevent and control it.
In women, prevention strategies that have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease include:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet (see Diet and Heart Disease)
- Maintaining a healthy weight (see Weight and Heart Disease)
- Exercising regularly (see Heart Disease and Exercise)
- Quitting (or not starting) smoking (see Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease)
- Controlling high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes (see Lowering Blood Pressure, Lowering Cholesterol, or Diabetes Treatment).
(Click Preventing Cardiovascular Disease for more information.)