Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Yet, according to the American Heart Association, only 1 in 5 women believe heart disease is her greatest health threat. Women who are experiencing heart attacks wait longer to seek cardiac care than men, are treated less aggressively, and are less likely to survive.
Why does this gender gap exist? One reason is a lack of scientific research and data about women’s heart health. Another is a simple lack of awareness. Women’s heart disease sometimes looks different than men’s with different causes, signs and heart attack symptoms in women. Therefore, raising awareness about their risk factors can go a long way toward improving women’s heart health.
“The good news is that heart disease is preventable. While genetics does play a role, we are learning that it is a much smaller factor than previously thought. Positive lifestyle changes can drastically improve your heart health,” says Whitney Coppolino, MD, FACC, Wentworth Health Partners Cardiology at Pease.
Following the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7” is a great place to start.
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