Women and Heart Disease: Facts and Risks

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(608) 263-1530


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Go Red For Women

women's heart health programDid you know that heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in the United States? One in two women will die of heart disease or stroke, and the signs and risk factors aren't always obvious.
The information below can help bolster your knowledge about the dangers of heart disease for women, as well as point you to UW Health Heart and Vascular Care resources who can further enhance your knowledge of this important topic.
Heart Disease Facts
  • More women die of heart disease than all other cancers combined
  • Most women older than 50 have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Few women talk to their doctors about heart disease risks
  • A heart healthy lifestyle can lower your risk by 80 percent

Risk Factors


Any of the following factors put women at risk for heart disease:

  • High blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes or obesity
  • Smoking
  • Physical inactivity
  • A history of stroke, heart attack or poor circulation
  • Chest, neck or arm pain with stress or exercise
  • Palpitations that induce dizziness or light-headedness

How to Lower Risk


The time for women to address heart disease risks is now, and here is a good way to start:

  • Be physically active - 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week
  • Follow a healthy eating plan that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat
  • Limit salt and sodium intake
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, have no more than one per day
  • Stop smoking
  • Take medication, if prescribed