7 Heart Disease Risk Factors for Women Only - Virtua Article

7 Heart Disease Risk Factors For Women Only

There are 7 risk factors for heart disease that only women experience. Talk to your doctor if you’ve had even one of the following issues. Your doctor can help you put a plan in place to lower your risk.

Pre-Eclampsia and Eclampsia

When pregnant, your body pumps more blood to support both you and your baby. Pre-eclampsia is a sign that your body is having a hard time dealing with this type of stress, which can be an indicator for heart disease later in life.           

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that begins, or is first discovered, during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes increases risk of diabetes, consequently increasing your risk of heart disease later in life.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

When you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, your ovaries create cysts and higher glucose levels. This increases your risk for gestational diabetes and heart disease later in life.

Preterm Birth of Child

Preterm birth (a month or more before due date) is considered a failed stress test of your body and can be an indicator that you’ll be at greater risk for heart disease later in life.

Menopause

As a woman enters menopause, her estrogen levels decrease, which can make her 2 to 3 times more likely to develop heart disease.

Postpartum Cardiomyopathy

While rare, postpartum cardiomyopathy is a type of heart failure that most commonly occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy or right after delivery. It occurs due to an unexplained weakening of the heart muscle. With each child, your risk for long-term heart disease increases.

Breast Cancer Therapy

Radiation and chemotherapy can negatively affect the heart. Radiation over the left breast can cause plaque to build up in the arteries limiting blood flow. Chemotherapy can weaken the heart muscle increasing risk of heart failure.

It’s important for your heart health to completely understand these risks. If you have had any of these conditions or treatments, talk to your doctor about your chances of developing heart disease and the potential prevention or treatments. 

Updated October 13, 2016

navigator access center

Contact Virtua

A Personal Health Navigator can help you find a doctor, schedule appointments or classes, and help you find a service or location.

888-VIRTUA-3 Live Chat

You may also like

Mind Heart - th

Calm Your Mind and Help Heal Your Heart

It’s OK to feel upset at times. But if your emotions are too frequent or intense, your heart could pay the price. Virtua cardiologist Hafeza Shaikh, DO, tells how you can lower the temperature.

Read More
MeasureBloodPressure-th

How to Measure Your Blood Pressure at Home

Checking your blood pressure at home is key to managing hypertension. Virtua cardiologist Vasu Palli, DO, has good advice on finding a good monitor and how to measure your blood pressure correctly.

Read More
man doing heart healthy exercises and stretches

6 Numbers Key to Keeping Your Heart Healthy

What if there were a handful of numbers that could help you track your heart health? See how these tests and actions can strengthen your heart and prevent problems down the road.

Read More
Showing 3 of 70