- Heart disease is a term that refers to several conditions that affect your heart, blood vessels, or both.
- Though both men and women are born with a cardiovascular system, there are some notable differences that can affect how men and women experience heart disease.
- The signs of heart disease can differ in men and women too so it’s important to get informed.
It’s a common misconception that heart disease mostly affects men. But the fact is, almost as many women as men pass away each year due to heart disease. Heart disease can also affect women of all ages and ethnicities. Yet, many women don’t realize they’re at risk.
The best way to protect your health is by getting informed. Follow along as we take a look at everything you need to know about heart disease in women, including the early warning signs, how it differs in men and women, the risk factors, and what you can do today to protect your heart.
What Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a term that refers to several conditions that affect your heart, blood vessels, or both. Some of these include coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, heart attack, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, coronary vasospasm, and coronary microvascular disease.
Heart disease can develop slowly over time, quickly after a heart attack, or it may develop from structural problems with the heart before birth (known as congenital heart disease). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 16 women aged 20 and older have coronary heart disease, however, your risk greatly increases as you grow older. In fact, the CDC says that heart disease is the leading cause of fatality in women in the U.S.