If you’re a woman who’s concerned about heart disease, where’s the best place to live to help do your body good?
According to a just-released study by the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, the San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland metropolitan area weighs in at No. 3 among the largest metro areas that are best for women’s health. The Bay Area is just behind the No. 2-ranked Washington DC area, and the top-ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The metro area that wins the dubious honor of least heart friendly for women? The Nashville area.
Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women nationwide — claiming the lives of 460,000 women per year. Cardiovascular disease also kills far more women than it does men.
The study examined the heart health of the 200 most populous U.S. metro areas. The Bay Area scored the lowest BMI (body mass index) among the large metros, and the best score for healthy eating (thanks to our enviable produce). The Bay Area also had among the best scores for regular exercise, commuting by bicycle or walking, cigarette smoking and diabetes diagnoses.
In general, California has some of the nation’s strongest legislation for smoke-free workplaces and restaurants. The Bay Area’s lowest scores came in the categories of cardiologists per capita, drinking alcohol (well, we are home to so many great wineries), and number of teaching hospitals per capita. The percentage of women having recent routine checkups was also below par.
Here’s how the regions stacked up:
Most Heart Friendly Big Cities for Women
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
3. San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland
8. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
Least Heart Friendly Big Cities for Women
2. St. Louis
5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
8. Las Vegas-Paradise
Get a free “Go Red Heart Style Guide,” with tips, recipes and a free magazine subscription, by clicking here. Keep your heart healthy by eating nutritionally balanced meals; exercising regularly; and by monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and weight.