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Are You at Risk for a Heart Attack or Stroke?

Have you thought about your risk of heart attack or stroke?  According to a recent study called the Women's Pooling Project, only 1 in 10 white women and only 1 in 20 African-American women can really be considered "low risk" for a stroke. . .which means that 9 out of 10 of us are at risk.

Heart attacks and strokes combined kill nearly half a million American women each year-nearly twice the number who die from all types of cancer combined.  And don't think those are all elderly people:  20,000 women under 65 die from coronary events each year. . .and a third of those are under 55.  More than one in four women who suffer from a stroke are also under 65. 

Risk factors for heart attacks and stroke are the same:  smoking, heart disease, a previous heart attack, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.  Risk increases  with each additional risk factor.  The good news is that you can reduce most of these risks, especially if you are overweight.  Obesity is the number one cause of Type 2 diabetes and causes nearly half of all cases of high blood pressure.   The really good news is that you don't have to get back to your ideal body weight in order to reduce your risk. . .you just have to get the scale going in the right direction.

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Created: 3/12/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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