Heart Disease Facts and Symptoms

UW Health Services
The following heart disease facts and symptoms from the American Heart Association illustrate the serious threat heart disease poses to women:
  • Only 13 percent of women view heart disease as a health threat, even though it's women's No. 1 killer 
  • mother and daughterCardiovascular disease (CVD) kills 480,000 women a year, about one per minute 
  • One in three adult females and males in the United States suffers from a form of CVD 
  • CVD claims more lives than the next four most common causes of death combined 
  • On average, an American dies of CVD every 35 seconds 
  • Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 single killer of women over age 25 
  • Sixty-four percent of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms 
  • One in 2.6 female deaths are from CVD, compared with one in 30 from breast cancer 
  • Heart disease rates in post-menopausal women are two to three times higher than in pre-menopausal women of the same age 
  • Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death for American women, and is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability
  • Stroke kills more women than men. In 2003, females represented 61 percent of stroke deaths.
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