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Women and Heart Disease

The fact is: cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute! But it doesn’t affect all women alike, and the warning signs for women aren’t the same in men.

What are the risk factors for heart disease?
High blood pressure, high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of all people in the United States (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Having overweight or obesity
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Drinking too much alcohol

How can I reduce my risk of heart disease?

  • Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Talk to your doctor or health care team about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Having uncontrolled diabetes raises your risk of heart disease.
  • Quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
  • Discuss checking your blood cholesterol and triglycerides with your doctor.
  • Watch your weight. Being overweight or obese raises your risk of heart disease.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink to one drink a day.
  • Manage stress levels by finding healthy ways to cope with stress.

Symptoms of heart disease in women:

  • Angina (dull and heavy or sharp chest pain or discomfort)
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, or throat
  • Pain in the upper abdomen or back
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Some women do not have any symptoms

Any questions or if you want more information you can contact Manchester or Rockville Cardiac Rehab:

Manchester: 860.646.1222 ext. 2166
Rockville: 860.872.5171

American Heart Association – https://www.goredforwomen.org/en
The CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/women.htm