Nutrition and cardiovascular diseases of women.
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Nutrition and cardiovascular diseases of women.

  • 1987 Jul-Aug

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 102(4 Suppl):22-25
Filetype[PDF-826.73 KB]

  • English

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      Public Health Rep
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      Atherosclerosis and hypertension are, by far, the most common cardiovascular diseases affecting women, and both are influenced by diet. Atherosclerosis occurs more commonly in men than women; generally women are 10 to 15 years older than men when symptoms develop. The prevalence of hypertension is about equal in the two sexes, particularly in middle aged and older persons. These cardiovascular diseases are major causes of death and disability in this country. Atherosclerosis results in myocardial infarction, thrombotic strokes, and claudication. Hypertension, when severe, damages small blood vessels, causing kidney failure, hemorrhage, strokes, and heart failure; when the condition is mild to moderate, it produces atherosclerosis. Nutritional factors are of primary importance in both atherosclerosis and hypertension. Risk factors for atherosclerosis related to nutrition are hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia-diabetes, and for hypertension, obesity, high salt intake, and excessive use of alcohol. Of all these risk factors, obesity seems to be the most important because it is strongly linked to hypertension and diabetes. Dietary intake of saturated fat is a potent factor in determining the blood cholesterol level, and reducing intake often decreases the level, thus lessening the risk of atherosclerotic complications. Although high salt intake and excessive alcohol use produce hypertension in susceptible people, less is known about the frequency of this adverse effect than is known about obesity.
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