By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.
Having a parent or sibling who’s had a heart attack early (generally before age 55 for men, before 65 for women) increases your risk of suffering the same fate. But a recent study in American Heart Journal suggests that women aren’t getting the message.
Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center discovered that women with a family history of heart attack didn’t exercise any more—and were more likely to smoke—than lower-risk women. (Men with a family history were more likely to acknowledge their increased cardiovascular risk and more likely to do something about it.) Particularly if you have a family history, start getting screened and making healthy lifestyle changes—like improving your diet and committing to regular exercise—now.