Q&A with Dr. James Rippe: Women's Heart Health

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Heart Health Basics

Q: When should a woman first start thinking about her heart health? Why then?A: The origins of heart disease are thought to be in childhood. Women should be concerned about heart disease early on and throughout their lives. They should be concerned about cardiovascular health for their children, also.

Q: Compared to her worries about breast cancer, how concerned should a woman be about the health of her heart? Why?A: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Most of the risk factors for heart disease are under a woman's control and it is critically important that every woman be informed about the risk of heart disease and that she take steps to lower risk factors.

Q: What are the risk factors for heart disease?A: To be considered a significant risk factor for heart disease, the risk factor has to at least double the risk of heart disease. There are five lifestyle related risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol (or other lipid problems), cigarette smoking, an inactive lifestyle, and obesity.

Continued on page 3:  Heart Health & Heredity


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