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5 Facts About Women's Heart Health

4

Race Matters in Matters of the Heart (Disease)

Dorothy Roberts exercises on a treadmill during a cardiac rehabilitation class at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.
Dorothy Roberts exercises on a treadmill during a cardiac rehabilitation class at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.
AP Photo/Mark Duncan

African-American, Native American, and Hispanic women are all at greater risk for heart disease than white women, according to WomenHeart.org. This is partly due to genetics, and mostly due to the fact that these populations are more likely to have contributing factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.

While there's not much we can do about changing our race or our sex, we can definitely do something about those contributing factors. Using diet and exercise to lower blood pressure and cholesterol keeps our arteries clear and our hearts strong enough to pump blood in times of stress.

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The American Heart Association says that while minority populations need to pay special attention, heart disease still affects more than one in three adults of any sex or race in the U.S. Staying on top of "the numbers," as medical professionals like to call blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight and other somewhat controllable factors, is smart for everyone, regardless of race.

Up next, another controllable factor: smoking.

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