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by DietWrite,'s Diet and Fitness News Reporter

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Young or old the American Heath Association has updated it’s guidelines with efforts to change habits before heart disease becomes a problem for women. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for American women.

The new guidelines focus on “lifetime risk” instead of high or low risk depending on age. The new requirements focus on diet and lifestyle to reduce overall lifetime risk which helps dispel that age is the main risk factor.

The panel that put together the guidelines says that every American woman has a 50% lifetime risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The AHA guidelines inform all women about the benefits of exercise, lifestyle and diet in order reduce their risk. Specific recommendations are given for women over 65, regardless of their health, recommending they take a low dose (81 mg) of aspirin every day.

The most important guidelines that are recommended for a healthy lifestyle are daily regular exercise, eating lots of fruits and veggies, mostly non-saturated fats, and most importantly no smoking.

New advice is given to maintain a healthy weight by suggesting moderate intensity exercise for at least 60-90 minutes, preferably daily. Also, the AHA reminds women to watch their sodium intake to keep their blood pressure down. Lower levels of cholesterol also have been noted to help lower risk of stroke.

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