Heart health

Women and heart health

More women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. About 80 percent of cardiac events in women could be prevented if women made the right choices for their hearts when it comes to diet, exercise and not smoking.

Your heart health risk factors

Many of the risk factors for heart disease can be treated or controlled such as smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes. Other risks which can't be controlled include:

  • Age. Most women with heart disease are age 55 and older.
  • Heredity. A person whose family member has heart disease has a higher than average risk.
  • Ethnicity. African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and some Asian-Americans are more likely to get heart disease. This is partly due to the higher rates of obesity and diabetes in these groups.

Your chance of developing heart disease increases with age, and it goes up greatly after menopause. But women of all ages should be concerned about heart disease. It's never too early or too late to take steps to protect your heart and make heart-healthy lifestyle choices.

Heart health information