Smoking more than triples a woman's chances of having a heart attack. If you quit, that risk is cut in half within two years; after 10 years, the odds return to nearly normal.
Carrying excess fat, especially around the middle, increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Obesity can also lead to diabetes, a major risk factor. Doctors recommend a reduced-calorie diet with lots of vegetables and whole grains, plus at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a day.
Elevated lipids--cholesterol and triglycerides--are important risk factors. Although doctors have traditionally...