Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women.
Close to 43 million women in the United States have some form of
cardiovascular disease — a term that includes both heart disease
and stroke — and every year nearly 422,000 die of it.
Several behaviors and conditions — smoking, poor diet, physical
inactivity, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, and
diabetes — increase the risk of developing cardiovascular
Evidence has mounted that depression should be added to the list
of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Research suggests
that depression increases the likelihood of developing heart
disease and stroke, even after taking into account factors such
The issue is important to consider for women in particular,
because they are twice as likely as men to develop depression.
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