FDA releases tips for women to prevent heart disease

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 - Women

The FDA released a consumer health information update on June 2 that provides women with tips on preventing heart disease.

Approximately 25 percent of women die from heart disease, the leading cause of death among women according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recently, NPR noted that a survey found only half of women from 25 to 60 years old knew that heart disease was the most dangerous threat to women’s lives.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a website that gives women resources on how to eat healthy and reduce their risk of heart disease.

Here are some tips from the FDA:

  • Manage diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other conditions that may increase the risk for heart disease and speak with healthcare providers about the best treatment plan.
  • Recognize symptoms of an MI such as shortness of breath, nausea and an ache or feeling of tightness in the chest, arm, neck, jaw or abdomen. If women have these symptoms, call 9-1-1.
  • Regularly exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a diet with fruits, vegetables and other healthy choices.
  • Talk with healthcare providers before taking aspirin as a way to prevent MI.
  • Try to quit smoking.
  • Ask a healthcare professional about participating in a clinical trial for a heart medication or procedure.

Shari Targum, MD, MPH, an FDA cardiologist, said in the update that menopause does not cause heart disease. However, she added that the decline in estrogen after menopause may increase the risk of heart disease. Other risk factors such as weight gain could also increase during the time of menopause, according to the FDA.

Women who experience problems during menopause may be treated with hormone therapy.

“However, the American Heart Association recommends against using post-menopausal estrogen hormone replacement therapy to prevent heart disease,” Targum said.