Dr. Hodis shares ways women can decrease their level of cardiovascular risk.
Well I think women need to absolutely know the specific information about what they can do to reduce their level of cardiovascular risk, heart attack, and stroke. There are many things out there that women can do. One of the biggest, largest factors women should be empowered with is to understand that obesity—weight--is a major risk factor, especially for women. Smoking also impacts women to a greater degree than men, as does diabetes. Diabetes in fact is the one disease that erases a woman's premenopausal protection from heart disease. So in other words, a woman with diabetes who is premenopausal looks like a man in terms of heart disease and outcome. So there is a lot that women can do, even to a greater degree than men. They can reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke quite substantially before even looking at medications. So I think that is important. Women should get educated about that and be sure they press their physicians to educate them in this area, and there is a lot of information that they can get from the Web, in the library, become educated. The more knowledge a person has, especially for women, the more she understands her disease specifically, and the more options and more about the risk, she can go in with very specific questions to her busy physician and ask those questions. She is going to come out much better than just going in with a broad, "Tell me about this." Go in with specific questions, I think read a little, and become knowledgeable.
About Dr. Hodis, M.D.:
Dr. Howard N. Hodis is a professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, University of Southern California, Director of the Atherosclerosis Research Unit and has a Harry Bauer & Dorothy Bauer Rawlins Professorship in Cardiology. Graduating with a medical doctorate from USC School of Medicine, he is now a member of the American Heart Association Council on Arteriosclerosis, American College of Physicians, the American Federation for Clinical Research and Society for Preventive Cardiology. His clinical interests are in atherosclerosis, cardiology-lipid disorders and prevention, ultrasound measurement of atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
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