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Cardiovascular Health in Women

  • By: Marian C. Limacher & Laura M. Gruen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the term used to describe all conditions of the heart and circulatory system and includes heart attack, stroke, and diseases of the blood vessels. The most common form of CVD is coronary heart disease (CHD). CVD is the leading cause of death among American women, with older women at greatest risk. However, 1 in 3 adult women has some form of CVD, and more women than men in the United States die from CVD each year.

For premenopausal women, the risk of CVD caused by coronary atherosclerosis is low, so the importance of risk factor assessment and modification is to delay or prevent events at a later age. For older women or those with significant risks, optimizing risk factors can improve ...

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