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New Guidelines on Women’s Heart Risk

American Heart Association Warns of Heart Attack Risk for Women With Some Pregnancy Complications

Aspirin and Women

Daily aspirin therapy prevents a recurrent problem in men and women who already have heart disease, Mosca says. But “there is softening of the guidelines when it comes to aspirin as a way of preventing heart disease in otherwise healthy women.”

“The decision about aspirin should take into consideration if she has controlled blood pressure or any risk of gastrointestinal bleeding because these are aspirin side effects that are very common and we don’t want doctors to just jump on it and tell all women to take an aspirin a day,” she says.

“We now understand that while women have been shown to respond similarly to men for many interventions, they may have different side effect profiles,” she says. Many women are not taking medications as prescribed or recommended because of side effects or fear of side effects.

“There is a real call in the guidelines for scientists and policy makers to have data by gender for positive and negative side effects,” Mosca says.

The bottom line is clear. “You do not need to develop heart disease no matter what your family history is,” Steinbaum says. “You need to live a healthy life and if you watch your risk factors, exercise and eat a healthy diet, heart disease doesn’t need to happen to you.”

Piña agrees. “Know your risk. Find out your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers and where they should be, and take control.”


Visit the AHA's Go Red For Women web site for heart-healthy tips for women at any age.


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