Heart disease is considered by some to be a ‘male dominated’ disease. However, it’s the most common cause of death for both women and men in the United States. For American Heart Month, Interim HealthCare wants to help spread awareness about heart disease in women.

Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Lifestyle Changes

Knowing the symptoms and risks unique to women, as well as eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising, can help protect you. With the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended. Scroll through this carousel to learn more.

Shocking statistics of heart disease in women

Did you know that Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year? Check out these shocking stats of heart disease in women, according to Go Red For Women:

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms and accounts for over on-third of maternal deaths. Black women have some of the highest maternal mortality rates.
  4. 4. 10% to 20% of women will have a health issue during pregnancy, and high blood pressure, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes during pregnancy greatly increase a women’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease later in life.
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. Most cardiac and stroke events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes, such as moving more, eating smart and managing blood pressure.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. While there are an estimated 4.1 million female stroke survivors living today, approximately 57.5% of total stroke deaths are in women.
  9. 9. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. Among American Indian and Alaska Native women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer as a cause of death.
  10. 10. Only 38% of participants in clinical cardiovascular trials are women, and a greater percentage of women die within one year of a heart attack than men.

Heart disease treatment in women

In general, heart disease treatment in women and in men is similar. It can include medications, angioplasty and stenting, or coronary bypass surgery.

According to MayoClinic, some noted differences in heart disease treatment among men and women are:

  • Women are less likely to be treated with aspirin and statins to prevent future heart attacks than are men. However, studies show the benefits are similar in both groups.
  • Women are less likely than men to have coronary bypass surgery, perhaps because women have less obstructive disease or smaller arteries with more small vessel disease.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation can improve health and aid recovery from heart disease. However, women are less likely to be referred for cardiac rehabilitation than men are.

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