|Learn About Heart Disease and
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and conditions that lead to it may begin early in life. “Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease,” says Dr. Melissa Wood, spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.
And according to the American Heart Association, one woman dies every minute from cardiovascular disease—more than from all forms of cancer plus other leading causes of death like chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease and accidents. But there are many steps you can take to protect your heart health and knowing your risk factors is one of them!
Risk Factors You Can Control
- Blood Pressure
- Physical Activity
- Birth Control Pills
- Alcohol & Illegal Drugs
Risk Factors You Can NOT Control:
- Heredity and Race
It is important to understand all of your risk factors (whether controllable or not) and discuss them with your healthcare provider.
It’s also important to know that should a heart attack strike, the symptoms may not be what you expect. Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack for men and women, but women often describe the sensation as pressure, tightness or an ache. Research also shows that less typical heart attack symptoms like back pain, nausea or fatigue are more common for women than for men. If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911. A 2009 AHA survey found that only 53 percent of women would take that action, which is far too low: Faster treatment means less damage to the heart muscle and better odds of a full recovery.
Top Ten Myths About Cardiovascular Disease
Download the 2013 Fact Sheet pdf.