Doctor Kalousek from Spa-resorts.cz explains: “Risk factors for heart disorders are some specific conditions or lifestyle that make an individual more likely to develop a disease”. Such conditions and habits also can increase the probability that a current disease will get worse. But a good news is that heart disease risk factors could be changed positively by patients themselves. For example you can do something about smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight, physical inactivity, and diabetes. The latest researches show that more than 96 percent of those who die from heart diseases have at least one of the above major risk factors. Sure, some factors, such as age and family history can’t be changed. However for women, age becomes a risk factor at about 55. It is important to emphasize that women who have gone through early menopause, either naturally or because they have had a hysterectomy, are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause. While certain risk factors cannot be changed, it is important to realize that women have control over many others. Despite of your age, background, or health status, you can reduce your risk of heart disease — and it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Protecting your heart can be as simple as taking a walk or getting the support you need to maintain a healthy weight.
Every Single Risk Factor Counts
Many women believe that doing just one healthy thing will take care of over their heart disease risk. For example, they may think that if they swim or walk regularly, they can still smoke and stay fairly healthy. “It is completely wrong assumption” – advices Dr. Kalousek. In order to protect your heart, you have to make changes that address each risk factor you have. You might make the changes gradually, one at a time. Other women may wonder, “If I have just one risk factor for heart disease — say, I’m overweight or I have high blood cholesterol — aren’t I more or less ‘safe’?” Absolutely not. Having just one risk factor can double a woman’s chance of developing heart disease.
The regrettable “Multiplier Effect”
Having more than one risk factor is especially grave, because as studies show risk factors tend to accumulate and worsen each other’s effects. Having two risk factors increases the chance of developing heart disease significantly. Having three or more risk factors increases the chance more than tenfold. The fact is, most women in midlife already have heart disease risk factors. The message is clear: Every woman needs to take her heart disease risk seriously — and take action now to reduce that risk.
Many women think that for example breast cancer is a bigger threat than heart disease. But the leading causes of death for American women in the year 2004 were in particular heart disease (332,313 cases) and all types of cancer were at the second place (265,022 cases).