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Healthy heart diet

4 ways women can reduce heart disease risk

"Heart disease and heart failure are a very big deal for women," says Tara Hrobowski, M.D., a cardiologist at Piedmont Heart.

Twenty years ago, heart disease was considered a "man's disease," but today's statistics show the gap is closing. While women's heart disease cases may be on the rise, new research shows four key ways women can drastically cut their risk.

How women can prevent heart disease and heart failure

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) involved 84,000 women with more than 1,800 new cases of heart failure. Among these participants, researchers established a "risk score," which took into account four factors:

  •          Regular physical activity
  •          Healthy diet
  •          Healthy weight
  •          Absence of smoking

Women who met all four of these healthy lifestyle standards slashed their risk of heart failure by 77 percent.

"It showed that overall, 35 percent of those [1,800] cases of heart failure could have been prevented," she says. "That's a really big deal."

Small steps for a better health

How can you reduce your risk?

Dr. Hrobowski tells her patients, "I'm not trying to get you to run the Boston Marathon, I'm just trying to get you to do something every single day."

Start where you are: exercise for five minutes one day, then increase to seven minutes the next day. Over time, small steps can lead to better long-term health.

For more health and wellness tips, click here

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