Women's Heart Facts

What You Need to Know

Million of American women live with cardiovascular disease, but too many are unaware of the threat they face. The following illustrates the urgent need for greater awareness of heart disease in women and for immediate efforts to eliminate the disparities in women's heart care.

More common than you may think

  • More than 42 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • More than 8 million women have a history of heart attack and/or angina.
  • Five and a half million women will suffer angina.

More fatal than any other disease

  • 35.3 percent of deaths in American women over the age of 20, or more than 432,000, are caused by cardiovascular disease each year.
  • More than 200,000 women die each year from heart attacks — five times as many women as breast cancer.
  • More than 159,000 women die each year of congestive heart failure, accounting for 56.3 percent of all heart failure deaths.

Who is at-risk?

  • Cigarette smoking results in a two to three times increased risk of dying from heart disease.
  • 48 percent of adult women have a total cholesterol of at least 200mg/dL.
  • 50 percent of Caucasian women, 64 percent of African-American women, 60 percent of Hispanic women, and 53 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander women are sedentary and get no leisure time physical activity.
  • 58 percent of Caucasian women, 80 percent of African-American women, and 74 percent Hispanic-American women are overweight or obese.
  • Women with diabetes are two and a half times more likely to have heart attacks.

Affects more women than men

  • More women than men die of heart disease each year.
  • 23 percent of women and 18 of men will die within one year of a first recognized heart attack; 22-32 percent of women and 15-27 percent of men heart attack survivors will die within five years.
  • 12-25 percent of women and 7-22 percent of men heart attack survivors will be diagnosed with heart failure within five years.
  • Women are less likely than men to receive appropriate treatment after a heart attack.
  • Women comprise only 27 percent of participants in all heart-related research studies.

Heart disease is preventable.

Many women can significantly reduce their risk of heart disease if they have the information they need, know the questions to ask their health providers and receive the support to make heart-smart changes in their lives. Visit our Prevention and Early Detection section to learn more.


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Treatment & Care

Lee Memorial Health System offers many surgical and medical procedures
for heart and vascular conditions.

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