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Women and Heart Disease

Women and Heart Disease

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That's one-third of our mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, coworkers and more.

Cardiovascular disease impacts some women at higher rates than others, but the simple truth is that most cardiovascular diseases can still be prevented with education and healthy lifestyle changes.

Heart disease and stroke can affect a woman at any age, making it vital for all women to understand their personal risk factors and family history. Women can also experience unique life events that can impact their risk, including pregnancy and menopause. Furthermore, research shows that stress may impact health, making it important for women to understand the mind-body connection and how to focus on improving both their physical health and mental well-being.

Other facts you may not know about women and cardiovascular disease include:

  • Cardiovascular disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined and yet only 44% of women recognize that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat.
  • Among females 20 years and older, nearly 45% are living with some form of cardiovascular disease and less than 50% of women entering pregnancy in the United States have good heart health.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms and accounts for over one-third of maternal deaths. Black women have some of the highest maternal mortality rates.
  • Going through menopause does not cause cardiovascular disease, but the approach of menopause marks a point in midlife when women's cardiovascular risk factors can accelerate, making increased focus on health during this pivotal life stage is crucial.
  • Most cardiac and stroke events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes, such as moving more, eating smart and managing blood pressure.
  • 51.9% of high blood pressure deaths, otherwise known as hypertension or the “silent killer,” are in women, and out of all women, 57.6% of Black females have hypertension — more than any other race or ethnicity.
  • While there are an estimated 4.1 million female stroke survivors living today, approximately 57.5% of total stroke deaths are in women.

´╗┐Know your risks for cardiovascular disease and commit to a healthier lifestyle.

Information obtained from the American Heart Association.

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