Heart Association Releases New Women’s Heart Health Guidelines

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heartThe American Heart Association says nearly all US women are in danger of heart disease or stroke and should be more aggressive about lowering their risk.

The Dallas-based association says the steps women need to take include asking their doctors about daily aspirin use.

It's the first time guidelines have urged all women to consider aspirin for preventing strokes, although specialists warn that it can cause ulcers and dangerous bleeding.

The guidelines also advise daily exercise and less fat and declare vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and folic acid supplements worthless for preventing heart disease.

In general, the guidelines aim to get women and doctors to focus on the long-term risk of high blood pressure, smoking, lack of exercise or being overweight.

The guidelines are in the journal Circulation.

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Advice For Women
(Source: American Heart Association)

ASPIRIN. Consider for preventing stroke unless a health condition or bleeding risk makes this unwise. Consult a doctor first.

EXERCISE. At least 30 minutes most and preferably all days; 60 to 90 minutes if you need to lose weight.

DIET. Mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grain and high-fiber foods, fish at least twice a week, and little salt.

FAT. Limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories, 7 percent if possible, and trans fats to less than 1 percent.

ALCOHOL. No more than one drink a day.

SMOKING. Don't. Use nicotine replacement products if needed to stop.

WEIGHT. Keep body-mass index under 25.

SUPPLEMENTS. Consider omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) if you already have heart disease. Do not take extra folic acid or antioxidants like vitamins E, C and beta-carotene, for heart
disease prevention. They don't work.

BLOOD PRESSURE, CHOLESTEROL. Keep under control, with medicine if necessary.

via KWTX