Heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, causes 1 in 3 deaths, taking a woman’s life nearly every minute, the American Heart Association (AHA) reports.
Though heart disease also strikes men, women are more likely to die from the disease and experience unique causes, symptoms, and outcomes. What’s more, certain conditions appear to increase heart disease risk in women. These include preeclampsia and eclampsia, gestational diabetes, migraine headaches with aura, early onset menopause, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Despite this, a Women’s Heart Alliance survey of more than 1,000 women 25 to 60 years old found that 45 percent didn’t know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
Dr. Holly Andersen, director of education and outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. Jennifer Haythe, a cardiologist specializing in cardiac health during pregnancy at the Center for Advanced Cardiac Care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, say women need to educate themselves to better protect their heart health. Here’s why: