Spratt K. A clinician's guide to a woman's heart. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1998;98(12_suppl):1S. doi: .
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Contrary to the perception of most women that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women, it is heart disease and stroke that claim the most lives of women older than 35 years in the United States. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease is likely to increase as more women--notably the "baby boomers"--enter the menopausal period, a time of increased cardiac vulnerability. Primary care physicians should be on the forefront in taking an inventory of risk factors in their female patients and in educating them about the reality of heart disease in their gender and about the risk factors that these patients can modify to decrease their risk. To aid in their efforts, this article provides an overview of those risk factors that are modifiable, such as weight reduction, exercise, and smoking cessation. It also offers an evaluation of the benefit and nonbenefit of vitamin and herbal supplements in reduction of cardiac events.
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