Heart disease may sneak up on women

Jul 26, 2011

Women may not be properly educated on dangers of heart disease

The number one killer of women, heart disease, may be not be detected by standard cardiac tests, according to the Associated Press. Women may have different symptoms than men when they are having a heart attack and are more likely to die in the year following their first attack.

Approximately 40 percent of women are unaware that heart disease is the number one killer in females. Cardiovascular diseases kill more than 420,000 American women annually, possibly causing an increase in life insurance claims, according to a new report issued by The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

The report, entitled Advancing Women's Heart Health through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment, found that 4 percent of women are expected to die from breast cancer while close to 50 percent will die from heart disease and stroke.

"A woman's heart is her major health threat, and everyone who takes care of a woman has to realize that," says Emory University cardiologist Dr. Nanette Wenger, who co-authored the report.

Heart disease is also the number one killer in men, and it usually hits them ten years earlier than women. Men and women alike are more prone to suffer a heart attack if they do not exercise and have a poor diet.  

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