Heart Disease on the Increase for Women

by Paul Rogers on June 19, 2008

While breast cancer is often a health focus for women, disease of the heart and arteries is the leading cause of death among men and women in most developed countries, accounting for about half of all deaths and associated illness.

In recent years, cardiovascular disease and deaths from it, in some groups of women, has been rising faster than for men.

An increase in type 2 diabetes, which is especially potent in women, may be the cause according to a new study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine — and most of it is preventable with diet and exercise — a message that is already widespread.

Apparently, in the Nurses Health Study — a long-running evaluation of the health of nurses — 82% of coronary heart disease cases and 91% of diabetes cases in women could be prevented by avoiding smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining normal body weight and exercising regularly. Not much to ask, surely . . . and the story is much the same for men.

In fact, it is a lot to ask of many people. The message is understood, the implementation is much more difficult. Finding a way around this impasse can be a personal challenge and a public one.

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