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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 2-1Classification of CVD Risk in Women

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