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Heart Disease

Only 13 percent of women consider heart disease their greatest health threat. Yet heart disease and stroke take the lives of more women than the next seven causes of death combined and nearly twice as many as all forms of cancer, including breast cancer. In fact, heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 3 killers of women in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 women each year. 

What puts you and other women at risk?


Since 1984, more women than men have died of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. The difference is staggering and the gap is widening.


African-American and Mexican-American women have a higher risk of heart disease than Caucasian women of comparable economic status.


Physical inactivity is more prevalent among women than men. Age and ethnicity also show differences in activity as well.


Women who have heart attacks in their senior years are more likely than men to die from them.

Six Risk Factors

Women and men share six identified risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

To learn more about Memorial Hermann's heart and vascular services, as well as upcoming heart health screenings and events, visit our Heart & Vascular Institute.

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