Skip to Main Content




Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in women.1 Identification of risk factors is the first step toward the prevention of CVD. The 2011 Effectiveness-Based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women classifies a woman's risk status as either high risk, at risk, or ideal cardiovascular health.2 The classic high-risk profile includes the presence of any of the following: clinical CVD, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, end-stage or chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, or a 10-year Framingham-predicted CVD risk of ≥10%.2 The at-risk profile includes having any of the following: cigarette use, systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥120 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥80 mm Hg, treatment for hypertension, total cholesterol ≥200 mg/dL, high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) <50 mg/dL, treatment for dyslipidemia, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, family history of premature CVD in first-degree relative, metabolic syndrome, advanced subclinical atherosclerosis, poor exercise capacity on treadmill test and/or abnormal heart rate recovery after stopping exercise, systemic autoimmune collagen-vascular disease, history of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or pregnancy-induced hypertension.2 Ideal cardiovascular health includes having all of the following without treatment: total cholesterol <200 mg/dL, BP <120/80 mm Hg, fasting blood glucose <100 mg/dL, body mass index (BMI) <25 kg/m2, abstinence from tobacco, physical activity for adults >20 years with ≥150-min/wk moderate intensity or ≥75 min/wk vigorous intensity exercise2 (see Table 2-1).

Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 2-1Classification of CVD Risk in Women

The second step of the health care provider should be to acknowledge that not only are there sex-specific risk factors for CVD and coronary heart disease (CHD), but also that the same risk factors in men and women do not affect them equally and similarly. Understanding the sex differences in CVD risk may result in a more aggressive patient education and primary prevention of CHD and CVD. This chapter summarizes the CHD and CVD risk factors that are nonmodifiable, ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessCardiology Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessCardiology content and resources including textbooks such as Hurst's the Heart and Cardiology Clinical Questions, a unique library of multimedia, including heart imaging, an integrated drug database, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessCardiology

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.