Dr. Atiemo explains how a woman can reduce her risk of developing heart disease.
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Reducing the Risk for Heart Disease in Women Heart disease is a very, very common disease and unfortunately there’s often a misconception that heart disease is a man’s disease. We know that women account for 50% of heart disease deaths. Really the key, in terms of heart disease prevention, is lifestyle modification and what we mean by that is really maintaining a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, a heart healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. We have learned that fish or omega-3 fatty acid in the diet is very protective for the heart and a very active lifestyle is very, very important. The American Heart Association recommends exercise most days of the week for at least 30 minutes a day and I think that with these types of lifestyle modifications one can do a tremendous amount to reduce the risk of heart disease. Cardiovascular activity is crucial for maintaining heart health. It is critical for patients to try to be as active as possible. The focus of cardiovascular activity does not need to be having a gym membership. One can obtain excellent exercise just by incorporating activity into one’s everyday activities such as using the stairs, walking from the far end of the parking lot, walking in the mall, for example. And so again, I think exercise is a very, very important factor for reducing the risk of heart disease and if it’s not possible to have a workout regimen at the end of the day then it’s just as good to be able to incorporate exercise into the daytime activities.