Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in the United States, killing 1 in 4 women each year. That’s nearly one death every minute from heart disease. Not everyone thinks of heart disease and women to be as correlated as it is with men, but it affects women more.
Heart Disease and Women:The Facts
Women are more at risk than men to die of heart disease. In fact, more women die from heart disease than men. Heart disease is more dangerous to women than all cancers combined.
It is a general thought that the real culprit to worry about is breast cancer (not to say it’s not a problem) but the prime suspect among women is heart disease.
Heart disease also doesn’t solely target older women either, younger women who smoke or are on birth control will have higher risks than women who do not use either of those substances.
Women experience heart attack symptoms differently than men do, despite being told through movies that if your right arm hearts you should be worried.
Women will usually have nausea, may feel lightheaded, vomit, or have jaw or back pain. Also, 64% of women who suddenly died from heart disease didn’t even notice symptoms beforehand.
Research has shown that race plays a role in the risk level of getting heart disease.
Hispanic women are at a higher risk of getting heart disease 10 years before Caucasian women. Only about 34% of Hispanic women are aware that heart disease is their greatest health risk, even though it is the number one reason for death among them.
About 48% of African American women ages 20 and over have heart disease. Yet, only 36% of African American women know that heart disease is their biggest health problem.
Though heart disease is no respecter of age, the risk of heart disease does go up as women age.
Coronary microvascular disease (CMD), a type of heart disease, is higher in men than in women. Researchers think that it may correlate to a drop in estrogen levels during menopause, as well as other risk factors combining.
Menopause comes at a later age for most women and may elevate their risk for heart disease.
Heart disease needs to be taken more seriously among women and not taken as “a man’s disease”. Women suffer from it more than men do.
However, there are steps to prevent heart disease, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising for at least 30 minutes each day.
Women across the country are becoming more educated about their heart health and over 300 fewer women a day are dying daily from heart disease as a result.
If you educate yourself and those around you, you too can prevent heart disease and know what to look for if early signs develop like high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Talk with your doctor about your current health and how you can maintain or improve your health routine to make sure you live a long, healthy life.