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AUDIO: Dr. Fogoros on Birth Control, Smoking and Their Relationship To Heart Disease

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Dr. Rich, let’s talk about women who smoke, are on birth control and their increased chances risk of contracting heart disease over their lifetime. Talk to me about that.

Dr. Richard Fogoros: Well, you know, in a typical non-smoking woman, the risk of heart disease is pretty low until age 55 or menopause, then it goes up rapidly. But one way of getting heart disease very early is to smoke. Smoking is bad in men and women but it’s particularly bad for some reason that no one understands, in women. It increases the risk of heart disease more in women than in men.

Now that risk is greatly multiplied if you have a family history of heart disease and especially if you take birth control pills. So women who have a family history of heart disease, who smoke and who take birth control pills are sitting on a time bomb, they’re really asking for trouble.

Richard N. Fogoros, M.D. (DrRich) is a former professor of medicine, and a longtime practitioner, researcher and author in the fields of cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology. He currently makes as a consultant in research and development with biomedical companies, and as a writer.

Experience: Dr. Rich practiced and taught clinical cardiology for 20 years, directing cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Pittsburgh, and then at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was listed in Best Doctors in America from its inception until he retired from practice. He has authored numerous scientific articles, book chapters, and books.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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