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By Lia Blanchard

I spent this morning at an urgent care clinic with a friend being looked at for a possible heart attack. She was released, but it got me to thinking about women’s health and heart disease in particular. I know it’s the #1 killer of women, and that there has been an effort in recent years to dispel myths and publicize facts about heart disease in women. I decided that I would do my part in that effort, and in honor of my friend (who is seeing her cardiologist tomorrow), bring you information today from the American Heart Association.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease: Lifestyle, Overall Health and Genetics

It’s the combination of these three that matter… even a strong family history of heart disease can be mitigated with a healthy lifestyle. Lack of physical activity, obesity, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all factors that can increase your risk of heart disease. Learn more about each of them here.

“Lifestyle” is the factor over which we have the most control – do you know how? Lower your risk of heart disease by learning how to cook for a healthy family, eat on the go, or even shop for groceries without getting sidetracked. The Go Red For Women website’s Live Healthy page has a lot more information about adopting healthy habits – there’s even a whole nutrition and fitness program.

If Heart Disease Already Affects You

Because heart disease kills an American woman every second of every day – more than all forms of cancer combined – chances are that your life has already been touched by this killer. Whether for yourself or a loved one, learn more about living with heart disease. This page has a ton of informative articles; these are only a few:

Are you ready to Go Red?

The purpose of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women program is to “encourage awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives.” It’s a “passionate, emotional, and social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.”

I urge you to Go Red – take charge.

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