Heart Disease Awareness for Women

woman tennis playerMany women are surprised at this fact: Coronary heart disease is by far the leading cause of death among women in the United States. In fact, more women die from heart disease than the next 16 causes combined. Although so many women are at risk, particularly those who are past menopause, few recognize their risk factors, or take steps to reduce them. If left untreated, coronary heart disease can lead to heart attack and heart failure.

Fast Facts

Despite the alarming statistics, it's estimated that only 8 percent of women consider heart disease their greatest health risk. Here are some additional facts:

  • More women than men have died of cardiovascular disease every year since 1984.
  • 43 percent of women who have heart attacks die within one year compared to 24 percent of men.
  • Approximately 500,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, and 63 percent of them had no previous symptoms.
  • Heart disease kills more women in their 20s, 30s and 40s than breast cancer.
  • Heart disease affects 1 in 9 women over age 45.
  • Women have a 47 percent probability of developing some form of cardiovascular disease.

There are many things women can do much to reduce their risk of developing coronary heart disease:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Maintain a weight as close as to their ideal body weight as possible.
  • Exercise regularly. The American Heart Association recommends 20 minutes of exercise, three times a week, with warmup and cool down periods).
  • Get screening and treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
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