Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Women

Issues for Prevention and Women’s Health
  • Margaret A. Chesney
  • Jill B. Nealey
Part of the The Plenum Series in Culture and Health book series (PSCH)


Recent years have seen increased attention to women’s health. Within this relatively new field, topics range from conditions that are unique to women such as menopause to coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among women. The role of gender in the etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease is far more than that of a sociodemographic variable that simply mediates the effects of other factors on outcome. Gender is a dynamic construct that interacts with psychological, social, physical, and behavioral factors in influencing disease risk, expression, course, and prognosis. Health-related behaviors, such as smoking, are embedded in the complex network of psychological, social, physical, and behavioral factors that differ for men and women. Understanding risks to women’s health and the behaviors that contribute to this risk is like studying a mosaic. It is necessary to step back and view the behavior in context; only then can we see the full picture and effectively intervene to prevent disease.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Cigarette Smoking Smoking Cessation Negative Affect American Medical Association 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret A. Chesney
    • 1
  • Jill B. Nealey
    • 2
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan Francisco
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake City

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