Women, This Is Not Your Father’s Heart Disease

Heart disease is no longer considered a man’s problem. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death in women in the U. S. According to the American Heart Association, 60% of all heart attacks occur in women. In 2010, it was estimated that 785,000 of that 60% would suffer a recurring heart attack. Nearly every minute, a woman dies from heart disease. Indeed, according to the Yale medical library: “Of the approximately 500,000 fatal heart attacks per year, almost half occur in women. Women who have a heart attack are twice as likely to die within the first two weeks as are men” (Rosenfeld, 1992). In the U. S. alone, there are more than 42 million women that have heart disease (Roger et al., 2011). Worldwide, nearly 8.6 million women die every year from cardiovascular diseases (WHO, 2003).

Unfortunately, sometimes people think that heart disease only happens in older women because they are no longer protected by their hormones. However, heart disease hits younger women at incredibly high rates. It’s the third cause of death among women ages twenty-five to forty-four, and it’s the second cause of death for women ages forty-five to sixty-four years (CDC, 2007). Many people would be surprised by these statistics because women’s heart disease has not received the same kind of media attention as breast cancer, for example, as a threat to women’s lives.

Women are not the only ones who don’t know enough about women’s cardiovascular disease. In a 2005, an American Heart Association study showed that only 8% of primary care physicians and 17% of cardiologists knew that heart disease kills more women than men. Today is not that much different. In fact, 90% of primary care doctors don’t know that heart disease kills more women than men, according to the American Heart Association (Mosca et al., 2005).

This is an important topic for all women, regardless of your age, statistically one in three will suffer from heart disease.  Do not wait until you have it, do something about it now.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

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