News Release

Friday, April 27, 2007

Love Your Heart: New NHLBI Resource Helps Women Reduce Heart Disease Risk

20th anniversary edition of “The Healthy Heart Handbook” includes New Statistics, Quizzes, and Charts.

A must read for women who want to show their hearts some love, “The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women” is an invaluable and easy-to-use resource every woman should read from cover to cover. A full-color, 122-page booklet from The Heart Truth campaign, it is packed with the latest information on preventing and controlling the risk factors for heart disease — the No.1 killer of women.

“The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women” a publication of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, contains new information on women and heart disease and offers practical suggestions for reducing the risk of heart-related problems. The handbook also describes the warning signs of heart attack and how to get help quickly.

“It is important for women to keep track of the latest research on heart health,” says Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director of NHLBI. “The 20th anniversary edition of ‘The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women’ has packaged the most up-to-date information on heart health in one easy-to-use guide.”

Since nearly one in four American women dies from heart disease, it is critical to know that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking or being overweight are all major risk factors. The handbook is filled with good advice on reducing those risk factors, including new tips on following a nutritious eating plan, tailoring a physical activity program to particular goals, and getting the whole family involved in heart healthy living.

“Most women think they know if they are at risk of a heart attack, but in reality some risk factors like high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol go undetected because they don’t have obvious signs or symptoms,” said Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D., leader of NHLBI’s Cardiovascular Medicine Scientific Research Group. “Simple steps like taking the What’s Your Risk? quiz and knowing the appropriate questions to ask your doctor can help you take action to protect your heart health.”

Featured highlights from “The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women” include:

  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor
  • Heart Attack Risk Quiz
  • ABCs of Diabetes
  • Five Aids for Quitting Smoking
  • Heart Attack Risk Table
  • Stories of real women’s experience with heart disease

The handbook also provides information about healthy eating to reduce heart disease risk, including a sample eating plan and a chart on how to properly read a nutrition label. “We know that being able to quickly scan a nutrition label is an important skill to help make heart healthy nutritional choices,” said Catherine Loria, Ph.D., a nutritional epidemiologist in the Division of Prevention and Population Sciences at NHLBI. “Critically assessing food based on fat, sodium, and calories empowers you to take control of your personal health.”

“The Healthy Heart Handbook” is available for $4.00 from the NHLBI Information Center, (301) 592-8573 or (240) 629-3255 (TTY); it is also online at

Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at:

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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