Cardiovascular disease in women
Heart disease affects women of all ages and ethnicities. It is the leading cause of death for women in the world. But many women do not know that they are at risk. They are also less aware of their risk factors and early warning signs may differ from men. Women who are aware of their risk and those assigned female at birth (DFAB) begin to reduce their risk.
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What is cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women?
Cardiovascular disease uniquely affects women and those assigned as female at birth (DFAB). Gender differences in anatomy, red blood cell count, and hormones appear to influence cardiovascular disease in men and women.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. In 2019, 1 in 3 people worldwide died from cardiovascular disease. That’s almost 18 million deaths from CVD that year alone. 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease – about 659,000 people each year.
Why is it important to talk about cardiovascular disease in women?
Many women do not know that heart disease is seven times more common than breast cancer. In 2018, 300,977 women died of heart disease. In comparison, 283,721 women died from all types of cancer, of which 42,455 were from breast cancer. Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
Any disease is important and deserves attention, awareness and action. But if you don’t understand that heart disease is a huge risk, you won’t know that you need to know more about it. And you may not start taking steps to reduce your risk.
One study found that only half of women under the age of 55 who had had a heart attack thought they were at risk before they had one. However, those women had multiple risk factors. They just didn’t know.