Women are still urged to stay fit for optimum heart health in new American… (Stefano Paltera/For The…)
Awareness of women's heart health has improved over the last 30 years, but cardiovascular disease still causes a woman to die every minute, reports an article in the journal Circulation detailing the American Heart Assn.'s new cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines for women.
Many of the guidelines, which were released on Tuesday, are familiar.
To minimize risk, women should avoid smoking; should exercise regularly; should eat a diet packed with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish; should keep to a healthy body weight and should treat their heart disease once they know they have it. Doctors are also urged to screen patients for depression, because people who are receiving treatment for depression are more likely to follow medical advice than those who aren't.
The committee preparing the guidelines noted that hormone replacement therapy, antioxidants, and folic acid hadn't been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease and may be harmful for some patients.
Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are associated with greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Complications of pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia are risk factors, too. A news release from the heart association said that having pregnancy complications could be considered equivalent to having failed a stress test.
Read the guidelines here.
RELATED: More from The Times on heart health guidelines.