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Heart Disease in Women

Summary

In the United States, 1 in 4 women dies from heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease in both men and women is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease, and it happens slowly over time. It's the major reason people have heart attacks.

Heart diseases that affect women more than men include

  • Coronary microvascular disease (MVD) - a problem that affects the heart's tiny arteries
  • Broken heart syndrome - extreme emotional stress leading to severe but often short-term heart muscle failure

The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease. But women of all ages should be concerned about heart disease. All women can take steps to prevent it by practicing healthy lifestyle habits.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Start Here

  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in
  • Easy-to-Read (Food and Drug Administration) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Symptoms

  • (American Heart Association)

Diagnosis and Tests

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in

Living With

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in
  • Heart-Healthy Recipe of the Week From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish

Related Issues

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Adult Congenital Heart Association)

Specifics

  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in

Statistics and Research

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Patient Handouts