Most women think that breast cancer is their biggest problem when it comes to health threats. However, the truth is that heart disease is the number 1 cause of death not just for men but also for women in the United States. This is surprising to most people. The problem is that wrong information or beliefs are available everywhere. This is why you need to learn the truth and know the facts about women and heart disease.
Significant Facts about Women and Heart Disease
Approximately 8.6 million women from all over the world die from heart disease every year. This is about one-third of all female deaths. Another important fact is that about 8 million women in the United States are living with heart disease and more than 30,000 are under 65 years old. 4 million of these suffer from angina. Each year, about 430,000 women in the US have heart attacks and about 83,000 are under the age of 65. Heart attacks kill about six times as many women as breast cancer. This is one of the most surprising facts about women and heart disease.
Who are at Risk?
Women who have high blood pressure or hypertension are about 3.5 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to women with normal blood pressure. Women smokers are at risk of having a heart attack about 19 years earlier than women who don’t smoke. Women who have diabetes are about two times more likely to have a heart attack compared to non-diabetic women. Obesity is a significant risk factor for heart disease. According to studies, marital stress worsens the condition and makes the prognosis worse. The risk of developing the disease is about 70% higher for African American women compared to white women.
Now that you’re aware of the important facts about women and heart disease, you should be able to make changes in your lifestyle to decrease your risk for the condition. First of all, if you’re a smoker, quit. Do everything you can to stop smoking. Secondly, you need to have a regular medical check-up in order to diagnose and manage the problem early to minimize or avoid complications. This way, survival rate will be increased considerably. Remember that chest pain should never be ignored and it is best to consult a doctor. This might be a sign that you’re about to have a heart attack.