You Don't Make Enough Money
Money lowers the risk of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease, at least for women. A 2008 study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute followed women for five years and found that all of the women whose household incomes were more than $100,000 were still free of heart disease, compared with just 78 percent of those who earned less than $20,000 — leading researchers to proclaim that socioeconomic status had the greatest impact on heart health. What that extra money really buys, it turns out, is better health care: "Women with limited financial means have less [health insurance] coverage, less continuity of care and are less likely to be able to afford medications to prevent heart disease," explains Leslee Shaw, Ph.D., lead author and professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.
Solution: Female and falling short of six figures? Don't be shy about seeking out affordable health programs, even those that provide health-care screenings and treatment for low-income women. And take advantage of pharmaceutical company initiatives that offer free or low-cost medications to patients who need them.
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