Tips for Women to Prevent Heart Disease: Guide To A Healthy Life!

Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of death in men and women. While men tend to develop heart disease earlier in life, it is the #1 cause of death in women over 65.

The good news is that a whopping 80% of cardiac events in women can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. So let’s learn about the symptoms, causes, and tips for women to prevent heart disease!

What Are The Causes Of Heart Diseases In Women?

Causes Of Heart disease In Women

Before diving into the prevention strategies, let’s examine what triggers heart disease in women. 

➡️ Genetics

If heart disease runs in your family, you may be predisposed. But just because Aunt Sue had a heart attack at 60 doesn’t mean you will too. Genetics load the gun, but your lifestyle pulls the trigger. So even if you’re genetically likely to develop heart disease, a healthy lifestyle can help delay the onset and reduce your risk.

➡️ Hormones

Estrogen offers some protection against heart disease before menopause. This estrogen shield vanishes for most women in their 50s, leaving them suddenly vulnerable. Around the time of menopause, many women have their first heart attack or stroke.

➡️ Birth Control

Oral contraceptives with higher levels of estrogen and progesterone can slightly increase the risk of blood clots and high blood pressure. Always weigh your risks vs. benefits with your doctor when considering hormonal birth control.

➡️ Stress

Chronic stress and anxiety cause surges in adrenaline and cortisol, which can damage blood vessels over time. Developing healthy stress relief habits is critical for heart health! Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or just going for a walk are great places to start.

Symptoms of Heart Blockage in Females

The pre-heart attack symptoms in females are often subtler, with these common signs:

  • Chest pain, tightness, or discomfort that comes and goes
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, or jaw
  • Stomach pain or nausea
  • Breathlessness, whether or not chest pain is present
  • sweating excessively or experiencing dizziness
  • Feeling unusually fatigued for several days

These symptoms usually last more than 15 minutes and may come and go. But even mild or vague symptoms should be checked by a doctor ASAP. Even if it ends up being indigestion or anxiety, it’s always best to err on the side of caution with chest discomfort.

How Can Women Prevent Heart Disease?

Although 100% prevention of heart disease is not a possibility,. You can adapt some lifestyle and diet changes to reduce the risk: 

➡️ Diet

Following a heart-healthy diet can reduce the risk of cardiac events by an astonishing 46% over 10 years. What does a heart-healthy diet include?

  • Fruits, veggies, and leafy greens
  • Whole grains
  • Lean proteins like fish, chicken, and beans
  • Nuts, olive oil, and avocados
  • Limit salt, sugar, processed carbs, and fried foods

➡️ Exercise

Diet is #1, but exercise and activity level are close second when it comes to impact on heart attack risk.

  • Get moving for 30–60 minutes per day; even light/moderate activity helps
  • Incorporate strength training twice a week
  • If you are new to exercise, check with your doctor first

➡️ Weight

Carrying extra body fat, especially around the abdomen, strains the heart and raises blood pressure. Losing even 10–15 excess pounds can significantly impact heart health.

➡️ Don’t Smoke

Smoking just a few cigarettes per day doubles the risk of sudden cardiac death in women. If you currently smoke, make a plan to quit with support from your doctor.

➡️ Moderate Alcohol

Heavy drinking stresses the heart and causes high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, strokes, and heart failure over time. Stick to 1 or fewer alcoholic beverages per day.

➡️ Manage Stress

As discussed earlier, emotional stress takes a toll on the heart. Make self-care a priority with adequate sleep, relaxation techniques, social connection, and fun hobbies. If anxiety or depression symptoms persist, seek support.

➡️ Prioritize Preventative Care

Get regular checkups to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, thyroid, and weight. Catching issues early makes treatment easier.

➡️ Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to the symptoms and signs your body may be giving. Don’t ignore chest discomfort, pain, shortness of breath, or extreme fatigue. Call your doctor promptly to get checked out. Time matters greatly when it comes to surviving a heart attack.

How to Stop a Heart Attack in 30 Seconds?

There is no magical way to stop a heart attack in 30 seconds. But if you witness someone suffering from the symptoms of a stroke, follow these steps immediately: 

  • Call emergency services immediately: Call local emergency numbers right away to get an ambulance on site as fast as possible.
  • Have them sit or lie down: Gently have the person sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Do not let them stand up or walk around.
  • Loosen any tight clothing: Loosen any tight-fitting clothing like ties, belts, or waistbands to make breathing easier.
  • Administer aspirin if available: If the person is conscious and able to swallow, have them chew and swallow an aspirin tablet. This can help prevent clotting. Do not give them aspirin if they are allergic or have bleeding issues.  
  • Be prepared to perform CPR: If the person loses consciousness, call out for help immediately. Be prepared to start CPR chest compressions if they are not breathing normally. Provide cycles of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths.

Stay with the person, monitor their symptoms closely, and provide any first aid interventions if needed until emergency responders arrive. Getting professional medical care to the scene quickly is crucial when responding to a heart attack.


While heart disease remains one of the major causes of death in women over 60 years old, the good news is that 80% of cardiac emergencies can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes. Now that you know the risks, warning signs, and prevention tips, let’s work together to put this knowledge into action.

Schedule a checkup to establish a baseline for your heart health numbers. Talk to your doctor about personal risk factors. Formulate a plan to improve your diet, activity level, and stress management. If you smoke, commit to quitting. The small, consistent changes do add up enormously over months and years.

Here’s to a long, strong ticker and many healthy years ahead!


  • Dilley, J. A., Harris, J. R., Boysun, M. J., & Reid, T. R. (2012). Program, policy, and price interventions for tobacco control: Quantifying the return on investment of a state tobacco control program. American Journal of Public Health102(2), e22-8
  • Mehta LS, et al. (2016). Acute myocardial infarction in women: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association.

Dr. Nicola Fawcet is a highly regarded Consultant in General Medicine known for her expertise in providing comprehensive medical care with a focus on holistic patient well-being. With a passion for internal medicine, Dr. Fawcet has dedicated her career to delivering high-quality healthcare and improving patient outcomes.

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