Know Your Risks

Most women believe that the breast cancer is their biggest threat, but heart disease kills 6 times as many women as breast cancer, making it the leading cause of death among women and men.

Uncontrollable risk factors:

  • Increasing age
  • Race or ethnicity (African Americans are at increased risk)
  • Family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Previous heart attack

Controllable risk factors:

  • Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stress

Women-specific risk factors:

  • Younger age at menopause
  • Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Use of birth control pills, especially in heavy smokers
What are the symptoms of heart disease for women?
What is the biggest misconception for women and heart disease?
When am I considered at risk for heart disease?
Are women with heart disease more likely to be misdiagnosed?