How Heart Smart Are You?

This "Take Wellness to Heart" quiz focuses on heart health issues relating to women, but theĀ  information is valuable to everyone.

This quiz will teach you some of the major risk factors for heart disease. The information itself won't change lives, but you can. So take charge of your own health and share what you know with others.

  1. Coronary heart disease develops gradually over many years and can easily go undetected.
    True or False?
  2. Women don't have to worry about cardiovascular disease. It's primarily a man's problem.
    True or False?
  3. If a woman has a heart attack, she is more likely to survive it than a man.
    True or False?
  4. Women are less likely to get heart disease after menopause than before.
    True or False?
  5. When men reach middle age, or about 55, their blood cholesterol levels starts to rise, but women's cholesterol levels seem to stabilize.
    True or False?
  6. African-American females are more likely than white females are to die from coronary heart disease or stroke.
    True or False?
  7. Which of the following is the single most important thing a woman can do to reduce her risk of heart attack?
    a) reduce stress
    b) start jogging
    c) reduce salt in her diet
    d) quit smoking
  8. Women smokers double their chances of having a heart attack over women who don't smoke.
    True or False?
  9. Women can reduce their risks of heart attack and stroke by following which of these lifestyle habits?
    a) quitting smoking
    b) exercising regularly
    c) eating a healthy low-fat diet
    d) controlling high blood pressure
    e) controlling cholesterol levels
    f) maintaining their ideal weight
    g) getting regular medical check-ups
    h) all of the above
  10. Women with heart disease have a lower risk of stroke.
    True or False?
  11. Compliance is an important way to improve cardiovascular health and increase heart disease and stroke survival rates.
    True or False?

Scroll down for answers

  1. True.
    Coronary heart disease takes years to develop and in the case of women, it takes almost a decade longer to show up. By then a woman is often concerned with other health problems such as cancer, arthritis or osteoporosis. These diseases tend to draw attention away from the steadily ticking time bomb of heart disease.
  2. False.
    Coronary heart disease is the number 1 killer of American women. Of the over 481,000 coronary heart disease deaths that occur each year, almost half (236,000) are females. In 1995 over 96,000 females died from stroke, accounting for 61 percent of all stroke deaths.
  3. False.
    Women have lower chances of surviving heart attacks than men. Studies show that 44 percent of women die within a year compared with 27 percent of men. At older ages, women who have heart attacks are twice as likely as men are to die from them within a few weeks.
  4. False.
    Many women before menopause seem to be protected from the risk of heart attack and stroke, perhaps by the hormone estrogen, which raises HDL, "good cholesterol," while lowering LDL, "bad cholesterol." But as women reach menopause at about age 55, the average woman's blood cholesterol begins to rise. After menopause, women's risk of heart attack and stroke continues to rise with age. Loss of estrogen appears to be a significant contributor to women developing heart disease after menopause.
  5. False.
    Quite the opposite. Most men's cholesterol levels become more stable around age 55, while both LDL, "bad cholesterol" and total cholesterol levels in most women start to rise.
  6. True.
    The death rate for African-American females from coronary heart disease is more than 35 percent higher than the rate for white females. Death rate from stroke is 71 percent higher for African-American females than for Caucasian females.
  7. d) quit smoking
    Today 23.5 million American women smoke. Smoking is the greatest single preventable cause of death. For women, smoking is the biggest preventable risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
  8. True.
    Women who smoke have more than twice the heart attack risk as nonsmoking women.
  9. h) all of the above.
    Many of the risks for cardiovascular diseases are controllable through healthy life habits. If women take control of their lives and choose habits that promote heart health, they can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
  10. False.
    Coronary heart disease is a major risk factor for stroke.
  11. True.

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