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Women and Heart Disease Prevention

Women wearing red in recognition of Heart MonthWear red in February for American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day (the first Friday in February) to help raise awareness about heart disease, but don't stop there. Make sure you know the signs of a heart attack, ask your doctor questions about heart health, and learn how to lower your risk for heart disease.

Having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, and having had a previous heart attack, stroke, or diabetes can increase your chances of having a heart attack.

Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

Eating healthy, staying active, being smoke-free, and getting regular check-ups are simple ways to lower your risk for heart disease.

Heart Disease Prevention: What You Can Do

How Do I Find Out If I am at Risk for Heart Disease? (NIH)

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Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Know the risk factors that may increase your chances of getting heart disease.

  • Alcohol
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Tobacco use

Heart Disease Risk Factors

Heart Attack Risk Calculator

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Ask Questions

Take this list to your next appointment, and get the answers.

  • What is my risk for heart disease?
  • What is my blood pressure? What does it mean for me, and what do I need to do about it?
  • What are my cholesterol numbers (including total cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol, HDL or “good” cholesterol, and triglycerides)? What do they mean for me, and what do I need to do about them?
  • What is my “body mass index” and waist measurement? Is my BMI in the “normal” range? Do I need to lose weight for my health?
  • What is my blood sugar level? Am I at risk for diabetes?
  • What other screening tests for heart disease do I need? How often should I return for checkups for my heart health?
  • What can I do to quit smoking?
  • How much physical activity do I need to help protect my heart?
  • What is a heart-healthy eating plan for me? Should I see a registered dietitian or qualified nutritionist to learn more about healthy eating?
  • How can I tell if I’m having a heart attack?

Questions to Ask Your Doctor (NIH)

Check Your Risk for Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Quit Smoking Today!

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Know the Signs, and Act Immediately

A woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds in the United States. If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. The good news is that if you seek help quickly, treatment can save your life and prevent permanent damage to your heart muscle. Treatment works best if given within 1 hour of when symptoms begin.

Common symptoms are:

  • Unusually heavy pressure on the chest, like there's a ton of weight on you
  • Sharp upper body pain in the neck, back, and jaw
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats (not hot flashes from menopause)
  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue (tiredness)
  • Unfamiliar dizziness or light-headedness
  • Unexplained nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) or vomiting

Make The Call. Don’t Miss A Beat

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

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Send a Heart Health-e-Card

Help raise awareness about heart disease and show your loved ones you care by sending them a heart health-e-card!

Women’s Health Heart Health E-Cards

All Heart Health E-Cards

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Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA
    30329-4027 USA
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
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