Follow me on twitter @drportnay for daily thoughts, comments on recent news items and retweets

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Preventing Heart Disease in Women

The American Heart Association just recently updated its recommendations for preventing heart disease in women

While not a dramatic update, it does change the criteria for high risk from those women with a 20% 10-year risk to those with a 10% 10-year risk.

The authors also added some new criteria for at-risk status, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and three pregnancy complications -- preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

So what are the risk factors for heart disease. I like to think of them as those that are "controllable" and those that are "non-controllable".

Non-controllable Risk Factors
- You have a family history of premature coronary artery disease or stroke (occurring in male family members less than 55 years old, or in women family members less than 65 years old).
- You are age 55 or older
- You are post-menopausal, or have had your ovaries removed
- During pregnancy, you have had preeclampsia (significant hypertension) or gestational diabetes, or you delivered a low-birth-weight baby.

Controllable Risk Factors
- You are overweight or obese
- You have a sedentary lifestyle
- You are a smoker
- You have hypertension
- You have high total cholesterol, and/or reduced HDL cholesterol
- You have diabetes
- You have metabolic syndrome
- You have increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels
- You use birth control pills, especially if you are also a smoker

If you have any of these risk factors, this should be discussed with your doctor to better understand your individualized risk for heart disease and steps that can be taken to help reduce this risk.

Mosca L, Benjamin EJ, Berra K, et al. Effectiveness-based guidelines for the prevention of CVD in women—2011 update. A guideline from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2011; DOI:10.1161/CIR.0b013e31820faaf8.

No comments:

Post a Comment