Are you concerned about your heart health? Read on to learn about common risk factors, symptoms, and ways to help keep your heart healthy.

While there’s a misconception that heart disease is more likely to occur in men, women are actually equally susceptible to developing this condition. In fact, research shows that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women globally.

At Monarch Health Services, Inc., in West Palm Beach, Florida, Tiffany Jarrett, MD, and her team are here to help you understand and navigate the challenges of heart disease.

In this blog, she explains what heart disease is, some of the common risk factors, and things you can do to help keep your heart healthy.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease covers a range of conditions that affect your heart’s structure and function. For example, coronary artery disease — which is the leading cause of death in women — is a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries. As a result, this impedes flood flow to the heart, which can result in heart attacks.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease results in death for one in three women in America annually. It’s vital to grasp the magnitude of this issue and recognize that your heart needs proper attention and care.

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

Several factors contribute to the risk of developing heart disease. Some factors, such as family history and age, are beyond your control. Others, however, can be managed. Here are some common risk factors for heart disease.

Hormonal changes

Women undergo hormonal changes, especially during menopause. The decline in estrogen levels during this time can cause an increase in cholesterol levels and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

High blood pressure and cholesterol

These two factors play a major role in the development of heart disease. Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or both, can lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through them.


Diabetes is a condition that needs careful management. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart. Managing blood sugar levels effectively is essential to reducing the risk for heart disease.

Pregnancy complications

Complications during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, can increase the long-term risk for heart disease. Monitoring and managing these conditions after pregnancy is crucial.

Lifestyle choices

Having a sedentary lifestyle, eating a poor diet, being obese, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking are lifestyle issues that can increase your risk of developing heart disease. The good news is these issues are modifiable. With the right changes, you can significantly lower your risk.

Can heart disease be prevented?

While heart disease can’t always be prevented, there are things you can do to help keep it at bay, such as the following:

Get regular checkups

Regular checkups are essential in monitoring your heart’s health. Monarch Health Services, Inc., offers comprehensive heart screenings and consultations that can help in early detection and management.

Exercise and maintain a balanced diet

Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins combined with exercising regularly is beneficial for heart health. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

Manage stress

Stress is a silent enemy of your heart. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, or spending time with loved ones, can have a positive effect on your heart.

Know the signs

Women sometimes experience different symptoms of heart disease compared to men. While most people think of chest pain and discomfort, women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain. Knowing these symptoms can help you recognize when you may need immediate medical attention.

Being well-informed is your best defense against heart disease. Take charge by understanding your risks, making healthier choices, and recognizing the signs.

Through comprehensive services, expert advice, and a patient-centered approach, Monarch Health Services, Inc., is dedicated to helping women understand and manage their heart health. To get an expert team on your side, call 561-510-7859 or book an appointment online today.

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