cardiology doc with female patient

Heart Disease in Women

Startling Facts

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. Heart disease kills six times more women every year than breast cancer.

We can prevent 80% of heart disease and strokes with education and lifestyle changes.

Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack.

On average, women get heart disease at an older age than men.

Symptoms are not always the same in women as they are in men, and may include:

  • Squeezing, tightness, or pressure in the chest
  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

Heart disease risk factors:

  • Smoking (greater risk factor for women than men)
  • Diabetes (greater risk factor for women than men)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Mental stress and depression

What you can do now:

  • If you smoke, STOP!
  • Get active
  • Add fruits and vegetables
  • Aim for a healthy weight
  • Meet with your provider to discuss prevention
  • Know your numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, and fasting glucose

Remember: Prevention is the best medicine!