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American Family Children's Hospital

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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