Women’s risk of heart disease increased during the pandemic

April 14, 2022

For many women, their complex roles during the COVID-19 pandemic as mothers, teachers and remote workers brought on not only emotional stress, but also physical stress, according to a Mayo Clinic news release.

"Stress by itself can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and sometimes even trigger a heart attack," says Dr. Guerrero, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist. But that added stress is not the only factor. "A poor diet can also be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease or lack of exercise,” she says.

Raising awareness is a priority for Dr. Guerrero.

"Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women and men around the world. However, many women do not know that," says Dr. Guerrero.

Dr. Guerrero says you cannot control your age or your DNA, but you can have some control over your cholesterol level, blood pressure and lifestyle choices.

"Have a balanced diet that includes more fruits and vegetables and include exercise in your daily life — ideally every day. But if not, at least four days a week. And a very important one: No smoking."

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