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Women and Heart Disease Prevention
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Wear 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. Take a few more steps for wellness, and lower your risk for heart disease.
Calculate Your Risk
Below is a quick quiz to find out your risk for a heart attack. If you don't know some of the answers, check with your health care provider.

Do you smoke?
Is your blood pressure 140/90 or higher, OR have you been told by your doctor that your blood pressure is too high?
Has your doctor told you that your total cholesterol level is 200 mg/dL or higher OR that your HDL (good cholesterol) is less than 40 mg/dL?
Has your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, OR has your mother or sister had one before age 65?
Do you have diabetes OR a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or higher, OR do you need medicine to control your blood sugar?
Are you over 55 years old?
Do you have a body mass index (BMI) score of 25 or more?
Do you get less than a total of 30 minutes of physical activity on most days?
Has a doctor told you that you have angina (chest pains), OR have you had a heart attack?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you're at an increased risk of having a heart attack.

What's Your Risk? (NIH)

Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease
Everyone can take steps to lower their risk for heart disease and heart attack. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Many people make it harder than it is. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts.

Heart Disease Prevention: What You Can Do

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

Know Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

Body Mass Index

Healthy Weight

Be Active
Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles.

Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day. Include activities that raise their breathing and heart rates and that strengthen their muscles and bones.

Physical Activity

Know the Signs, and Act Immediately
It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling 911. A person's chances of surviving a heart attack are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible.

Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms

Ask Questions
Getting answers to these questions will give you vital information about your heart health and what you can do to improve it. Take this list to your next appointment, and write in 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 are my "body mass index" and waist measurement? 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 you do to help me 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

Content Source:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348, 24 Hours/Every Day - cdcinfo@cdc.gov (TTY)