Modifiable, lifestyle-related risk factors for women

There are several modifiable risk factors that increase the odds of heart conditions and stroke for both women and men. These can include:

  • physical inactivity 
  • unhealthy diet 
  • smoking  
  • stress 
  • excessive alcohol or drug use. 

Some modifiable risk factors hit women harder such as smoking and physical inactivity.

Women in Canada are less physically active than men at all ages. Smoking is the most preventable cause of heart conditions and stroke, particularly among women younger than 55, increasing their risk seven times.

Lifestyle risk factors can be lowered through healthy behaviours, with the right support in place. Adopting these behaviours is easier for some than others due to equity and access issues.