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Women and Heart Disease

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Heart Disease

It was thought in the past that estrogen could protect women from heart disease. But a recent study has found that hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, (taking estrogen and a particular synthetic progesterone together) can increase a woman's risk for heart disease, as well as for breast cancer, stroke, and blood clots. In addition, another recent study has found that taking estrogen replacement therapy, or ERT, (taking estrogen only) can increase a woman's chances of developing ovarian cancer, especially if taken for 10 years or more.
If you are in menopause and taking estrogen, ask your healthcare provider if estrogen is right for you. Also, ask your healthcare provider about treatments available to help you manage menopause and protect your health as you age.

Final Thoughts

You may be thinking, "But this isn't about me. I don't have heart disease." However, you may have conditions or habits that can lead to heart disease, such as being overweight, smoking cigarettes, or not getting enough physical activity. You may already know about these and other risk factors for heart disease. You may know which ones you have. What you may not know, however, is that if you have even one risk factor, you are much more likely to develop heart disease, along with its many serious consequences. A damaged heart can damage your life by interfering with enjoyable activities and even your ability to do simple things, such as taking a walk or climbing steps.
But now for the good news: You have tremendous power to prevent heart disease -- and you can start today. By learning about your own personal risk factors and making healthy changes in your diet, physical activity, and other daily habits, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing heart-related problems. Even women with heart disease can take steps to lessen its severity.
Start taking action today to protect your heart. As one woman doctor put it, "Heart disease is a 'now' problem. Later may be too late."
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Heart Disease in Women

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