Fast Facts: Gender And Heart Disease

February is American Heart Month and it’s a great time of year to re-evaluate your diet and lifestyle so you can live a heart-healthy existence. You may be surprised to learn that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States. It kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  That means approximately every 25 seconds in America someone will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.  The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack.  In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack.  The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk, such as eating healthier and exercising regularly.

Women, Gender and Heart DiseaseWomen and Heart Disease:

Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s disease,” it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, and indeed, each year heart disease is the cause of death in over 300,000 females.  Heart disease is also often perceived as disease of elderly people but it is:

  • the leading cause of death among women aged 65 years and older
  • the third leading cause of death among women aged 25 – 44 years
  • and the second leading cause of death among women aged 45 – 64 years.

Women must always keep in mind that many cases of heart disease can be prevented!

Men and Heart Disease:

  • The average age for a first heart attack for men is 66 years.
  • Almost half of men who have a heart attack under age 65 die within 8 years.
  • Between 70% and 89% of sudden death cardiac events occur in men

For more facts on heart disease check out  the CDC’s website or the American Heart Association webite for useful tools on making a plan to live a healthier life!

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