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Obese Women: Why Is Their Risk For Heart Disease Increased? - Dr. Smolens

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Dr. Smolens describes why obese women are at a greater risk for developing heart disease. Dr. Iva Smolens focuses her work on women's heart conditions at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.

Dr. Smolens:
Obese women tend to be at greater risk for developing heart disease for a number of reasons. They tend to have higher cholesterol levels, higher triglyceride levels, and a very substantial increased risk of diabetes. All of those combined increase the risk of heart disease and atherosclerotic plaque buildup in the vessels.

For those women who are obese, as defined by a Body Mass Index greater than 35, they are at increased risk for heart disease, and some risk factor modifications that can help these women specifically are needless to say, weight loss, but under a reasonable controlled system, lifestyle modifications including increasing exercise, cardio exercise of 30-minutes-a-day at a minimum of five days a week is what is recommended, and this can be in the form of working in a gym or actually, even just walking outside or walking in a mall raising their heart rate up adequately.

Additionally, many obese women have associated diabetes and they need to control their blood sugars aggressively with medication management, typically, control their high blood pressure, which obesity also is associated with, and controlling their cholesterol. They need to check their cholesterol levels with their physicians and if their lipid levels--their LDL in particular, the bad cholesterol--is elevated, they probably will need medical treatment for that.

About Dr. Smolens, M.D.:
Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon Iva Smolens, M.D., serves as medical director of the Women's Heart Center at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona. She currently serves on the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Condition: Heart Attack, Heart Palpitation, Heart Disease

Related Terms: Chest Pain, Stress Test, High Blood Pressure, HDL, LDL, Body Mass Index, Cardiovascular Exercise, Angiography, Stent, Heart Bypass Surgery, Open Heart Surgery, Vascular Disease, EKG

Expert: Dr. Iva Smolens, Iva Smolens, M.D., Doctor Iva Smolens, Cardiologist Iva Smolens

Expertise: Cardiology, Heart Specialist, Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Attack, Heart Palpitation

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