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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Checklist for a Healthy Heart

Winter 2013

Checklist for a Healthy Heart

Date: February 4, 2013

Heart and stethoscope
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More than 60 percent of women believe that their greatest health risk is breast cancer. But did you know that heart disease takes the lives of six times as many women—making it the leading cause of death?

To help women beat these odds, cardiologists and other health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center take a preventive approach to heart health. The focus of the program is a comprehensive assessment in which women are given scores for their risk of cardiovascular disease.

“All results are reviewed in depth with the patient, giving her a chance to see where she stands in relation to other women her age,” explains Pamela Ouyang, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center. “We also look at whether there are any unusual factors that might increase the risk of heart disease.”

To schedule an appointment for a cardiovascular assessment, call 410-550-5191. For more information, visit

Dr.Ouyang recommends women take these steps for a healthier heart:

  • Quit smoking. Women smokers are more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers.
  • Lower your cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in your blood can build up in the walls of your arteries and cause heart disease.
  • Reduce your blood pressure.
  • Stay active. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Talk to your doctor. He or she can help you learn about lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk and suggest screenings that may catch problems early.