Beyond genes: how the environment affects the cardiovascular health of women

Hey! Do you know that risk assessment is not only about blood pressure, cholesterol and other factors that are normally evaluated in clinics? There are many other factors that influence a woman’s heart health, and it is important to include them in the risk assessment. The American Heart Association has just released a scientific statement saying that non-biological factors and social determinants of health should be considered when assessing cardiovascular disease risk in women, especially those who are not white.

We cannot rely solely on traditional formulas to determine women’s cardiovascular risk, as they do not take into account the specific biological influences of sex, medications, and conditions that are more common among women than men. For example, women who have had preeclampsia during pregnancy are more likely to develop heart disease in the future, other factors to consider include polycystic ovary syndrome, age at first period, menopause, types of breast cancer control birth and/or hormone replacement therapy used, autoimmune disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition, the risk assessment should include the social determinants of health, such as economic stability, neighborhood safety, educational and job opportunities, and lack of access to health care, which have a major impact on heart health. of women, especially those of diverse racial and ethnic origins.

To prevent cardiovascular disease in women, we must assess non-biological factors and social determinants of health, along with traditional cardiovascular risk factors. All members of the health care team must be informed about these women-specific factors in order to provide equitable cardiovascular health care for all women.

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