Do you have a question you’ve been dying to ask, but didn’t know who to turn to? Well, now you do. The National Women’s Health Network has established a weekly Q & A column where you can ask questions on a variety of topics. Those topics include contraception, abortion, sexual health, menopause & menopause hormone therapy, osteoporosis, obesity, and some aspects of heart disease. Each week we will feature a new question. See this week’s question below.

Submit your question today!


To view past questions, check out our Since You Asked Archives.

What we are able to provide:

  • A feminist perspective on current issues in women’s health
  • Evidence-based research on the risks and benefits of certain drugs and procedures
  • Information on available treatment options

What we are not able to provide:

  • Give medical advice
  • Physician referrals
  • Financial assistance in paying for health care
  • Information on general health topics

Please note: Questions submitted will not be answered personally, and not all questions submitted will be answered. If your question is selected, you will be notified via email. Before you submit your question, search our website to see if you find the answer to your question. Your answer might be found in a fact sheet, newsletter article or on one of our advocacy pages. NWHN can provide you with accessible and accurate health information; however, we are not medically licensed professionals and thus cannot provide medical diagnostic or treatment advice.


Weekly Question – I have always heard that women have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Why is this? What can I do to reduce my risk?

There are many misconceptions about how gender impacts the risk of cardiovascular disease, commonly referred to as heart disease. Heart disease is not just one specific illness. It refers to a range of conditions that affect your heart. There are multiple types of heart disease. The most common type is coronary heart disease which is the number 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S.

Although coronary heart disease is the top killer of both men and women in the U.S, women have a higher risk than men at developing heart disease. Multiple studies, including one from the American Heart Association, report data from scientific surveys showing women ages 18-55 tend to be less healthy and make poorer lifestyle choices than similarly aged men before suffering a heart attack. Other survey data suggests that a large majority of women are aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in the U.S despite certain lifestyle choices.

Women are also more likely than men to suffer from other health conditions associated with heart disease. Some of these conditions include diabetes, obesity, history of stroke, depression. Click here for details on specific gender differences in the risks associated with heart disease. While genetics is a factor for one’s exposure and risks of developing heart disease, There are many external factors that we have the power to control in order to help reduce our risk for heart disease.

Here are some beneficial lifestyle changes that can help reduce risks in both men and women:

Don’t smoke, actively or passively
Monitor and control your blood pressure
Be physically active (aim for 30 minutes of daily physical activity)
Maintain a healthy diet/weight
Reduce stress and treat depression

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only.