Heart Disease in Women

When you hear the term
"heart disease," what is your first reaction? Like many women, you may think, "that's a man's disease" or "not my problem."

But here is The Heart Truth:
Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. Most women don't know this. But it is vital that you know it — and know what it means for you.

Some surprising facts:

  • One in 4 women in the United States dies of heart disease, while one in 30 dies of breast cancer.
  • Twenty-three percent of women will die within 1 year after having a heart attack.
  • Within 6 years of having a heart attack, about 46 percent of women become disabled with heart failure. Two-thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery.

The fact is, if you've got a heart, heart disease could be your problem. Fortunately, it's a problem you can do something about. For women in midlife, taking action is particularly important.

Once a woman reaches menopause, her risks of heart disease and heart attack jump dramatically. One in eight women between the ages of 45 and 64 has some form of heart disease, and this increases to one in four women over 65.

You have tremendous power to prevent heart disease—and you can start today. By learning about your own personal risk factors and by making healthful changes in your diet, physical activity, and other daily habits, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing heart-related problems. Even if you already have heart disease, you can take steps to lessen its severity.

Talk with your physician to get more answers. Start taking action today to protect your heart. As one woman doctor put it, "heart disease is a 'now' problem. Later may be too late."