• Dr. Annmarie Waite

Heart Disease in women

Heart disease is the leading killer of women over the age of 50, and heart attacks are twice as deadly for women as they are for men. One reason is that women’s blood vessels are smaller and have a different organization from men’s. It’s why coronary bypass surgeries and angioplasties don’t work as well in women, and more women die after these procedures. It’s also why more women than men with so-called normal coronary arteries have heart attacks, angina, and myocardial ischemia. And it’s why a woman can have a normal angiogram (blood vessel study) but still have heart disease.





Depression is consistently related to a high risk of heart disease in women. Many women suffer from depression at midlife. Nutritionally, depression is often associated with low levels of vitamin D. It is also associated with low levels of brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.


Now, what if I told you there was an easy way to keep your heart and your brain healthy at midlife and beyond?


Nitric oxide is a molecule that is released in abundance in your nervous system as well as all the organs in your body when you engage in sensual and sexual pleasures. It also occurs simply by having happy thoughts. I am not making this up – you can read about this in The Secret Pleasures of Menopause by Christiane Northrup. Why Everyone Needs Nitric Oxide Nitric oxide has been called the “miracle molecule” because it has so many positive effects on your body. Here are some of the ways nitric oxide works in your body:

  • Relaxes blood vessels and reduces the “stickiness” of red blood cells

  • Promotes improved blood flow to every part of your body

  • Regulates blood pressure

  • Acts as an uber-neurotransmitter in the nervous system and all organs

  • Helps with memory and behavior by transmitting information between nerve cells and the brain

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Helps to repair damaged tissue

  • Improves sleep quality

  • Increases your endurance and strength

  • Assists with gastric motility

  • Triggers white blood cells to fight infection

  • Help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

How You Can Increase Your Nitric Oxide Levels

Even if you are a healthy individual, nitric oxide production decreases as you grow older. Aside from thinking happy thoughts and enjoying sensual pleasures, there is an easy way to increase your levels of nitric oxide. Simply take a high-quality nitric oxide supplement.


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Disclaimer: Dr. Waite is a certified health coach trained by the Health Coach Institute who works to achieve “habit change” (adoption of health-enhancing practices) via coaching. As a health coach, she does not diagnose or treat disease, prescribe medication, or perform the functions of clinical occupations. For those things, she recommends that you consult your healthcare provider. We are happy to work with your healthcare provider’s professional guidance to best support your wellbeing.