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Women and Heart Disease

When it comes to women's heart health, it’s important to maintain a lifestyle that includes a heart-healthy diet and exercise. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for women. Learn more about women’s heart health here.

Women’s Heart Disease Risk Factors

While not all heart disease risk factors can be controlled, it’s important to understand how these factors can affect women's heart health. These factors can include:

  • Genetics and family history
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Diet and exercise
  • Sleep
  • Cholesterol
  • Menopause
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy drugs – like those used to treat breast cancer
  • Complications with pregnancy

Women should keep in mind that a healthy diet, regular exercise and reduced stress can improve heart health and lower the risk of a heart attack. Talk to your doctor about options to reduce risk factors. Learn more about risk factors for women’s heart health here.

Signs of Heart Attack in Women

It’s important for women to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack as they can be subtle. Signs of a heart attack may include indigestion, shortness of breath and more. Learn about heart attack and silent heart attack symptoms from the professionals at Banner.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Men vs Women

While both men and women experience some of the same symptoms, it’s important to note the differences. Men and women both experience symptoms like:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck or back pain
  • Shortness of breath

Additionally, women may experience additional symptoms like:

  • Fainting
  • Indigestion
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen

Be aware of women's heart attack signs and symptoms to ensure you get the right help.

How to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

It’s important to understand the risk factors that you can control to help reduce the risk of heart disease. When it comes to preventing heart disease in women and in men, it’s important to:

  • Exercise
  • Quit smoking
  • Keep cholesterol under control
  • Control blood pressure
  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take a low-dose aspirin

Controlling these factors can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are on and discuss your healthy lifestyle plan.

Common Myths About Women's Heart Health

Find out the truth behind these myths about women’s heart health.

Myth: Heart disease is more common in men.
Truth: The leading cause of death for both men and women is heart disease.

Myth: Women who are active and exercise regularly won’t get heart disease.
Truth: While exercise and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart disease, it does not eliminate it completely.

Myth: People think signs of heart attacks in women are easy to spot.
Truth: Not all women experience chest pain and other symptoms can be subtle, making a heart attack difficult to spot.

Let the team at Banner Health ease your mind about women's heart health. Reach out with any questions and trust us to help you learn about heart disease and reduce your risk.