Womens heart health is a subject that should be on the tip of everyone's tongue, but for some reason not too many people seem to be talking about it. Unlike other womens issues that have people mobilized and raising awareness, when it comes to the heart there doesn't seem to be too many people championing the cause. It seems as though I can't drive anywhere without seeing a car with a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon magnet attached to it, but where are the magnets for heart problems.
You'd think that there would be tons of soccer moms concerned with womens heart health, especially given the fact that heart disease is the number one cause of death today for American women. I'm constantly hearing about how men die of heart attacks, but more women than men die every year in the United States of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, 23 percent of women over the age of 40 who have heart attacks die within a year. When you compare that to the 18 percent of their male counterparts, it's hard to understand why this isn't more of a women's issue. Where are all of the specials on Oprah? Where are the races for cures?
Even scarier, 64 percent of women who have heart attacks and die suddenly have had no previous symptoms. It's truly a silent killer, striking otherwise healthy people when they least expect it. Also, after the age of 40 the lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease is more than 50 percent in women. The worst part is that diagnostic tests and procedures that work well for men don't work as well in women. This is particularly true of ECG tests, which is also known as the exercise stress test. All in all, more people need to be aware of womens heart health.