Fast Five Quiz: Cardiovascular Disease Risk Management in Women

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


December 14, 2020

Figure 1. Illustration of a woman with a stent, which is one type of treatment for the plaque build-up in arteries with atherosclerosis.

Women have unique risk factors for CVD. Among them, a family history of early heart disease appears to be a greater CVD risk factor in women than in men.

Similarly, mental stress and depression appear to affect women's hearts more than men's. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adhering to treatment recommendations are also more difficult to accomplish when patients are depressed.

Studies have shown women with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease than are their male counterparts. In one study, women were found to have overall lower rates of control than men for CVD-associated risk factors, including blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and smoking status.

Gestational hypertension increases a woman's long-term risk of developing high blood pressure, a notable risk factor for CVD. Gestational diabetes also leaves women at increased long-term risk for the development of diabetes.

Learn more about CVD risk factors.


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