The factors listed below have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
- You are a woman older than 55 years old.
- You are African-American.
- You have a close blood relative who had a heart attack.
- You smoke, or you live or work with people who smoke.
- Your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher.
- You don’t know your cholesterol levels.
- Your blood pressure is consistently greater than 120/80.
- You have not had your blood pressure checked within the past two years.
- You have diabetes.
- You do not exercise regularly (30 minutes most days of the week).
- You are overweight.
- You drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
Women’s symptoms of heart disease are often different and less obvious than men’s — including abdominal discomfort and breathing changes. Heart disease in women tends to be under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed. That’s why it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. If you catch heart disease early, you can help slow its progress.
The Heart of a Woman (PDF)