April 13, 2024

One in every five women dies from heart disease in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The risk increases with age, but there are ways of treating your heart right in your younger years.

“Heart health choices that you make when you are young will affect your life in later years,” says Joyce Oen-Hsiao, MD, cardiologist at Yale Medicine in Connecticut. “If you start following a healthy, active lifestyle when young, you will be more likely to maintain that healthy and active lifestyle as you get older.”

Prevention is key, says Christine Jellis, MD, cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “When we think about prevention, it’s all about setting ourselves up for success in the future.” Consider this: 80 percent of heart disease is preventable, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). What can you do to beat the nation’s No. 1 killer? Follow this decade-by-decade guide to keep your heart healthy.

Your 20s and 30s: Lay the Foundation for Good Health

What’s Happening Now

During your prime years, you’re less likely to have artery-clogging cholesterol buildup, thanks to plentiful amounts of estrogen. This powerful hormone helps keep arteries flexible and blood cholesterol levels low, according to the AHA.

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