Five Facts All Women Should Know About Heart Disease

Feb 6 • 2015

Heart disease causes one in three deaths in women each year, but it does not affect all women in the same way. Additionally, the warning signs for heart disease in women aren’t the same warning signs that men see. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to how this disease impacts females, and not knowing the facts could put you at serious risk.

Heart disease is more deadly for women than cancer.
Heart disease is more deadly than all forms of cancer put together. It is also more prevalent in women than in men.

Women of all ages can get heart disease.
No matter how old you are, heart disease can impact you. Things like birth control pills and smoking are a big reason heart disease is boosted in younger women. It is true that the risk increases with age, but it doesn’t mean you are in the clear just because you are under the age of 55. It is also important to remember that a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits can lead to clogged arteries in the future.

Women who work out are still at risk for heart disease.
Even if you are in great shape and exercise frequently, the risk of heart disease is not eliminated. Other things like high cholesterol, an unhealthy diet, and smoking can offset the benefits of working out. Women should begin getting their cholesterol checked once they turn 20 years old. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, you’ll want to start these screenings earlier.

Even if heart disease runs in your family, there are things you can do.
Women who have a family history of heart disease do have a higher risk of developing it themselves, but there are many things you can do to reduce the risk. Make healthy lifestyle changes like eating right, exercising, and not smoking to keep your heart healthy.

Sometimes heart disease has no symptoms.
In fact, over half of women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease have not experienced any symptoms in the past. Many of the symptoms vary between men and women, which causes some confusion. While it is commonly believed that chest pain is a clear sign of a heart attack, women are more likely to suffer from shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, back pain, and jaw pain. Other symptoms to be aware of are lightheadedness, fainting, dizziness, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, and serious fatigue.

If you’re concerned about your heart health, get a screening with our HeartScore scan.