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Leadership is required for getting American minorities into research.

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When you hear the term “heart disease,” what’s your first reaction? Like many women, you may think, “That’s a man’s disease.” But here’s The Heart Truth: Heart disease is the #1 killer of Latinas in the United States. Together with stroke, heart disease accounts for a third of all deaths among Latinas—cancer, the second-leading cause of death, accounts for about a fifth. Latinas also have high rates of some factors that increase the risk of developing heart disease, such as diabetes, overweight and obesity, and physical inactivity. But there’s good news too: You can take action and lower your chance of developing heart disease and its risk factors. In fact, women can lower their heart disease risk by as much as 82 percent just by leading a healthy lifestyle. This fact sheet gives steps you can take to protect your heart health. WHAT IS HEART DISEASE? Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease. Often referred to simply as “heart disease,” it is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. It is a lifelong condition and will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits. Risk Factors for Heart Disease Lifestyle affects many of the “risk factors” for heart disease. Risk factors are conditions or habits that increase the chanc- es of developing a disease or having it worsen. For heart disease, there are two types of risk factors—those you can’t change and those you can. The ones you can’t change are a family history of early heart disease and age, which for women is a risk factor at 55. That’s because, after menopause, women are more likely to get heart dis- ease. Partly, this is because their body no longer produces estrogen. Also, middle age is a time when women tend to develop other heart disease risk factors. But most of the heart disease risk factors can be controlled. Often, all it takes are lifestyle changes; sometimes, medication also is needed. Here’s a quick revie

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