Serious As a Heart Attack:<br />
10 Things Black Women Need to Know About Heart Disease
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oz. of 100-proof spirits.) Drinking more alcohol than recommended increases such dangers as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity and stroke.

8. Kick Butts. Smoking doesn’t just cause a risk for lung cancer; smoking increases risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 40 percent. Continuing to smoke throughout your life may shave off as many as 13-14 years. The good news is that when you stop smoking, your risk for heart disease and stroke can be cut in half just one year later and continues to decline until it’s as low as a nonsmoker’s risk.

9. Manage stress. Stress affects people in different ways, such as diminishes energy levels, increases heart rate and blood pressure, interrupts sleep and triggers unhealthy responses ranging from overeating to drinking excessive alcohol or smoking. Take steps to manage stress by sitting quietly for 15 minutes a day, relax and breathe deeply; try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy for 10 minutes; engage in exercise, such as yoga, swimming, cycling, walking and take time to laugh.

10. Prevent recurring heart attack and stroke. According to the American Heart Association’s December 2012 journal, Circulation, if you have heart disease, a heart-healthy diet may prevent recurring heart attacks and strokes. A study found that adults with heart disease who ate a heart-healthy diet had a 35 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular death; 14 percent reduction in risk for heart attack; and 19 percent reduction in risk for stroke.