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HHS HealthBeat (November 13, 2012)

Hearts, personally

A woman jogs in the park.

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Staying Active

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Women are still having heart attacks, although the proportion of women who have them has been going down. At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Nakela Cook says many women don’t think about a heart attack as something that could happen to them.

Cook says it’s not only middle-aged and older women who should be concerned:

“We know that heart disease risk factors develop at younger ages in this country, as well as the fact that risk for heart disease and atherosclerosis – the process of developing plaque in the arteries – can occur at younger ages.”

Those risk factors include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight or obese, and not being physically active enough. Cook says women can work on these things – quitting smoking  and lowering cholesterol, for instance – with help from their health care providers.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: November 13, 2012