2011 HEART DISEASE PREVENTION GUIDELINES FOR WOMEN
What is Your Risk Level for Heart Disease?
|HIGH RISK||AT RISK||IDEAL CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH|
|One or more of the following:||One or more risk factors:||A healthy lifestyle with:|
- Existing coronary heart
disease (heart attack,
bypass surgery, heart
disease (narrowed or
blocked arteries that take
blood to your brain)
(weakness in the artery in
predict a high risk of heart and
vascular disease in the next
10 years. (Based on the
Framingham 10-year CVD
- Cigarette smoking
activity or cannot
complete a treadmill
Index [BMI] 25-29.9) or
Obesity (BMI higher than
including: the development of
high blood pressure or
diabetes, delivering a pre-
- Blood pressure less than 120/80
and not on medicine for blood pressure
and not on medicine for cholesterol
100 mg/dL and not on medicine for
exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous
exercise a week
whole-grains, and high-fiber
foods. Eats fish, especially oily fish
twice a week or more. Pregnant
women avoid fish with high
alcohol, sodium, sugar; avoids
* The Framingham 10-year CVD Risk tool estimates the risk of heart disease based on age, gender, presence of diabetes, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, smoking, and systolic blood pressure. Consult your doctor or nurse on how to calculate your risk score.
Do You Have Metabolic Syndrome?
If you have 3 or more of the following risk factors, then you have the metabolic syndrome and are at greater risk of developing heart and vascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and having a stroke.
- Your waist is greater than 35 inches
- Your triglycerides are higher than 150 mg/dL
- Your HDL (good cholesterol) is less than 50 mg/dL
- Your blood pressure is higher than 130/85 mm Hg
- Your fasting blood sugar is higher than 100 mg/dL
Lifestyle Guidelines for ALL Women
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables including whole-grain and high-fiber foods.
- Eat fish at least twice a week, preferably oily fish, or talk to your health care provider about taking omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) supplements.
- Do your best to eat less salt (sodium). Try to limit your sodium to 1500 mg a day. View the Blood Pressure page for tips to eat less salt.
- Avoid trans-fatty acids. No trans-fats is the goal.
- Eat very little saturated fat (such as fat from meat, cheese, and butter): less than 7% of your total calories a day.
- Eat less than 150 mg of cholesterol a day.
- Drink no more than one alcoholic drink a day. No alcohol is best!
Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Get counseling, nicotine replacement, or drug therapy (if needed) and find a group program to help you stop smoking.
Exercise and Weight Loss
Get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, like brisk walking. If you are trying to lose weight, then you will need 60 to 90 minutes a day.
Women with Recent Heart Problems
Join a cardiac rehabilitation or physician-guided exercise program following heart attack, stroke, or other cardiac conditions.
Numbers ALL Women Need to Know
|Risk Factors||Optimal Level||Your Numbers|
|Blood pressure||Less than 120/80 mm Hg||_____/_____ mm Hg|
|Total cholesterol||Less than 200 mg/dL||_____ mg/dL|
|LDL - "bad cholesterol"||Less than 100 mg/dL*||_____ mg/dL|
|HDL - "good cholesterol"||Greater than 50 mg/dL||_____ mg/dL|
|Triglycerides||Less than 150 mg/dL||_____ mg/dL|
|Glucose (HbA1c)||Less than 7%||_____ %|
|Body mass index (BMI)||18.5-24.9 kg/m2||_____ kg/m2|
|Waist circumference||Less than 35 inches||_____ inches|
* Your health care provider may want your LDL to be less than 70 mg/dL if you have several risk factors.
Download & Print information about women & heart disease
The American Heart Association, in collaboration with national organizations dedicated to women’s health, have released new life-saving guidelines for the prevention of heart disease.
Experts recommend that every woman know her risk level for heart disease. Knowing your risk has been linked to taking preventive action.
American Heart Association: www.heart.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: www.nhlbi.org
Office on Women's Health: www.womenshealth.gov
Disclaimer: This and other PCNA educational materials are for information purposes only and are not intended to replace medical advice or diagnose or treat health problems. Health-related decisions should be made in partnership with a healthcare provider. It is the reader's responsibility to seek out the most current, accurate information.