During the first seven days of February, women throughout America advocate for heart health, promoting healthy choices that can help extend your life.
Over 60 million women (44%) in the United States are living with some form of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States and can affect women at any age. In 2021, it was responsible for the deaths of 310,661 women—or about 1 in every 5 female deaths.
Common Types of Heart Disease in Women
Coronary Artery Disease
The most common heart disease—and the leading cause of death for women—is caused by plaque in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to your heart and other parts of your body. After menopause, women are at a higher risk of coronary artery disease because of hormonal changes.
This condition is when your heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way. A common example is atrial fibrillation.
Heart failure is when your heart is too weak to pump enough blood to support other organs in your body. This condition is serious, but it doesn’t mean your heart has stopped beating.
Reducing Your Risk of Heart Disease
There are various ways women can mitigate their risk of developing heart disease, including:
- Regularly testing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Keeping an exercise regimen
- Eating healthy
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Managing your stress