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People age 65 and older are much more likely than younger people to suffer a heart attack, to have a stroke, or to develop coronary artery disease and heart failure. Heart disease is also a major cause of disability, limiting the activity and eroding the quality of life of millions of older people.
There are many types of heart and blood vessel diseases. Many of them can be prevented. Here are some key steps you can take:
Don’t smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke
Lower your blood pressure if it’s high
Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium (salt)
Be physically active
Reach and maintain a healthy weight
Get regular medical check-ups
Follow your doctor’s orders for taking medicine
Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
The following online resources provide access to reliable information about heart disease in seniors:
CardioSmart - Your Heart Is Special
Find ways to manage and live well with your heart condition. If you have a heart condition, you may need to make decisions about tests, procedures or medications. The American College of Cardiology has tools to help you talk with your care team, understand your options, and choose what’s right for you. Information from the American College of Cardiology.
WomenHeart is the first and only national patient-centered organization dedicated to serving women with heart disease. WomenHeart’s mission is to improve the lives of women with or at risk for heart disease, while fighting for equity in heart health.
Heart Disease in African American Women
Heart disease and stroke is the No. 1 killer in women, and stroke disproportionately affects African Americans. Importantly, African American women are less likely than Caucasian women to be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death. Information from the American Heart Association.
Changes that happen with age may increase a person's risk of heart disease. Read this comprehensive overview of heart disease and aging from the National Institute on Aging.
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
In-depth resource about all aspects of heart disease and stroke from the American Heart Association.
MedlinePlus Heart Disease and Stroke Resources
Information from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health