Women are more prone to heart disease

Risk factors in women

The harmful effects of smoking are exacerbated by the combination with hormonal contraception

High blood pressure

Taking the pill or pregnancy, among other factors, can also cause blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke.

Unfavorable levels of fat in the blood (cholesterol)
A high cholesterol level is usually accompanied by an increase in the "bad" LDL cholesterol. In contrast, the "good" HDL cholesterol has a protective function on the arteries. Until menopause, women usually have more “good” cholesterol than men. But women can also have too little HDL cholesterol. This is the case, for example, with excessive tobacco consumption, with too large a waist circumference, with diabetes or hereditary problems. After menopause, more than half of women have elevated blood lipid levels. On average, these are higher than for men of the same age.

Overweight, obesity

Obesity is a health hazard. For the heart, in particular, when the fat attaches itself to the abdominal area in the form of an “apple shape”. But that's exactly what women tend to do after the menopause. However, women of this age - as long as their weight is in the normal range - should also accept that the body is changing. If you are slightly overweight, the constant attempt to lose weight can severely impair your quality of life. You can expect more success if you set yourself the goal of maintaining your current weight for the time being.

According to recent studies, around 265,000 people in Switzerland suffer from diabetes, half of whom are women. Women with diabetes are more susceptible to the severe consequences of cardiovascular disease than men.


Alcohol is less harmful to women than men. As a woman, drink a maximum of 1-2 glasses of wine - and if possible not every day. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to the most common cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation. There is also the risk of addiction.

Sedentary lifestyle

Movement is good for the heart. The Swiss Heart Foundation recommends ideally 30 minutes of exercise per day, but at least 2½ hours per week, with moderate intensity. Or 1¼ hours a week of high-intensity exercise.


Stressed women are at increased risk of having a heart attack. In addition, stress promotes the development of other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, unhealthy diet and obesity.