Lack of Exercise Tops Women's CV Risk
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:16 AM

Physical inactivity had the greatest impact on a woman's lifetime risk for heart disease after age 30, according to an Australian study.

Looking at four cardiovascular disease risk factors -- smoking, high body mass index (BMI), high blood pressure (BP), and physical inactivity -- among 32,154 Australian women, researchers found that, from age 30 until the late 80s, low physical activity was responsible for higher levels of population risk than any of the other risk factors.

In addition, smoking was found to be the most important contributor to heart disease in adult women under the age of 30, they reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The results highlight the fact that population attributable risks for heart disease appear to change throughout women's lives, the researchers concluded.  "They show that continuing efforts to reduce smoking rates in young adult women are warranted, especially during the 20s." "However, from about age 30, inactivity outweighs that of the other leading risk factors, including high BMI, which is currently receiving much more attention in Australia than the 'Cinderella' risk factor -- physical inactivity."