Predicting heart disease: The sex factor

Several sex-specific issues may foretell a higher risk of cardiovascular problems in women and men.


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You probably know the key health indicators that pose a danger to your heart, such as high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. But many people are not aware of the sex-specific conditions that may serve as early warning signals for heart disease.

For women, these include problems that sometimes occur during pregnancy, as well as other diseases that are more prevalent in females (see "Female-focused cardiac risks"). For men, it's a relatively common problem that's less commonly discussed: erectile dysfunction.

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