Today I will be giving a talk for heart month to the staff of the US Supreme Court. The topic of my talk will be "Women and Heart Disease." Traditionally, heart disease has been considered a male problem. This has resulted in under awareness, under testing, under detection, and under treatment of heart disease in women. Fortunately, this pattern is changing in recent years, most significantly with an increase in awareness that heart disease is a real problem for women as well as men. I'd like to use this blog post to highlight some of the main points that I will be making in the talk that are important for all women (and men with women they love in their lives!) to know.
Contrary to prior misconceptions, heart disease is the #1 killer of American women. More women than men die from cardiovascular disease every year. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Women have equal or greater rates of angina (symptoms of lack of blood flow to the heart) compared to men. Women who have a heart attack are more likely to die than men with heart attacks.