There are some primary risk factors in women for developing heart disease (many of which overlap with men) such as:
- Family history of premature heart disease (First degree male relative under age 50, or female relative under age 60).
- Age > 40
- Active Smoker
- Obesity (BMI > 30), Overweight with a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Excessive Alcohol intake (more than 2 drinks/day)
- Chronic Kidney disease
- Diet: High intake of red and processed meats, sweets, fried foods, and refined grains
However, the relative importance of these risk factors may differ between women and men. In particular, hormonal status, diabetes, smoking, and a family history of premature congestive heart disease appear to be more important in women.
There are some women-specific risk factors:
- Post-menopausal status, especially if on hormonal replacement therapy
- Pregnancy-related complications (eg, gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, eclampsia, spontaneous pregnancy loss/miscarriage)
- Oral contraceptive use
- Breast cancer treatment
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea