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Women's Heart Disease (03-04-2004) 

Heart disease is the leading killer of women in the United States. The new guidelines strive to separate women into different risk categories to provide more specialized care methods. While many of the recommendations appear familiar, the guidelines put a greater emphasis on issues related to women including:

  • Smoking cessation program promotion;
  • Physical activity of at least 30 minutes a day;
  • Encouragement of a "heart-healthy" diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, low fat proteins, folic acid and Omega 3 fatty acids;
  • Healthy weight maintenance;
  • Depression evaluation and treatment;
  • Discouragement of the use of hormone replacement therapy; and
  • antioxidant supplements to prevent heart disease

Several reputable studies indicate that a knowledge gap remains in women about their risk for the disease. Less than half of women surveyed consider themselves well informed about heart disease. Also, women in minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics are at a higher risk for heart disease but are less aware of these risks.

Please see the following sources for more detailed information:

http://www.americanheart.org
(American Heart Association)
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
(National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health)
http://www.hearttruth.gov
(Heart Truth National Awareness Campaign)