The most important fact about heart disease in women is that heart disease very common among women. American Heart Association statistics show that women in the United States are three to four times more likely to die from Coronary Heart Disease than from Breast Cancer. Another alarming fact is that the major risk factor of cigarette smoking is increasing in young women.
Coronary Heart Disease
In the United States the most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), this is true for women as well as men. The major risk factors for CAD are the same for women as well as men. Elevated cholesterol, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and family history of heart disease all are major risk factors for CAD in women. Compared to men, the risk of developing CAD is less for women. However, once menopause is reached, the risk for women increases sharply. Being premenopausal does not prevent CAD in women; risk factors must be controlled whenever possible.
There are at least two circumstances in which women do have special risks.
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