Women and heart disease

Around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the U.S. Unfortunately, many women did not perceive themselves to be at risk for heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and whites.

Almost two-thirds of the women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.

Heart Disease Risk Factors

Nine out of 10 heart disease patients have at least one risk factor. These medical conditions and lifestyle choices include:

High cholesterol high blood pressure


Cigarette smoking

Overweight and obesity

Poor diet

Physical inactivity

Alcohol use

Heart Attack Symptoms

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body

Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms

May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.

Courtesy of the CDC for Healthy Living News

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