Prevention of cardiovascular disease in women

Anthony A. Bavry, Marian C. Limacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women. In fact, the cardiovascular disease mortality rate among women exceeds the rate in men. Unfortunately, many minority women are still unaware of the importance of this disease. All women, including those with no history of cardiovascular disease, should have an accurate estimate of the probability of a cardiovascular disease event (death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) usually within the next decade. Such an estimate will help determine if women are candidates for preventive measures and specific therapies such as aspirin. Data from the Framingham Heart Study were used to construct a risk score, which is now widely used; however, other risk scores are available. To prevent cardiovascular disease, women should refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight, eat a heart-healthy diet, be physically active, and have normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Aspirin can be considered for primary prevention, with expected benefit to prevent ischemic stroke; however, this needs to be balanced against potential bleeding risk. Hormone therapy is no longer recommended due to an increase in adverse events (most consistently seen as increased ischemic stroke risk). Folic acid is also no longer recommended due to lack of benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in reproductive medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • aspirin
  • cardiovascular disease
  • myocardial infarction
  • primary prevention
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Physiology (medical)


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