Heart Disease and Women


Heart disease is alsknown as coronary heart disease (CHD) and is the number 1 cause of death in women in the United States. Is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. According to the American heart association, one in three U.S. women eventually succumbs to heart disease. And while the rates for men are declining, the rates for women are rising steadily (Cheek, Jensen, & Smith, 2004).  Women have a higher risk than men in developing CHD but why is this : Age becomes a risk factor at 55. and after menopause, women are more prone to get heart disease. This is because their body’s production of estrogen drops. Women who have gone through early menopause are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause.

Other Risk Factors:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Ethnic Group (African American and Hispanics)
  • Stress

The video clip above shows Dr. Tara Narula talking about the difference between men and women regarding heart disease. She explains the difference in biology between men and women on how heart attacks develops. During this clip video, she talks about an important point on how doctors can be blame for not testing women earlier for heart disease and how women and heart diseas has been “understudy”, “underdiagnosed and “undertreated”, which contributes to the higher numbers of heart diases in women. Awareness of the disease is also being ignore by women and ONLY 55% of women recognize the seriousness of the disease. Women are also ignoring and misinterpreting symptoms, it seems that women seem to put off medical attention when they are experiencing symptoms.

Knowing your numbers is a short video clip that explains the importance about knowing the numbers in your blood that can contribute to the irsk of heart diseas. Toral cholesterol <200, LDL cholesterol known as the BAD CHOLESTEROL, which we would want to be low: <100, HDL known as the GOOD CHOLESTEROL: >or equal to 50, triglyceride < 150 is  a type of fat which if is high can put you at a higher risk of stroke, Blood Presure (BP) 120/80, fasting glucose <100, Body mass index (BMI) <25 a high BMI can be consider obesity. If these numbers are above rangem changes can be made to lower them and lower the irsk of heart disease.

The healthy habits videos gives examples on how to improve your lifestyle. Heart disease can be preventable when lifestyle changes are made. Diet is an important change, reducing the intake of foods high in cholesterol, fat, sugar, salt can decrease the probability of having a heart attack or stroke. Instead add vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grain and lean meat. Exercise is key to keep you active and reduce weight gain, therefoe have a lower BMI, you can do 30 minutes of jogging, lifiting weights, playing sports and walking. A third lifestyle change is QUIT SMOKING, by doing so the risk of having a strokr or heart attack drops by HALF. Consume alcohol responsible, never is excess to reduce your risk for heart disease.


Heart disease is a serious disease that can lead to to death if not taking seriously. Women as we have learned have a higher risk of developing heart disease, and we should take the necessary precautions. If is known that there is a family history of heart disease your chances are higher, and precautions such as lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risks. It is important to know that men and women experience symptoms of heart attack different. If these symptoms present it is important to seek medical help by calling your primary care doctor or going to an Emergency Department. It is also important to educate ourselves, you can do this by asking your doctor for education or use other resources such as www.heart.org, www.goredforwomen.org.


Cheek, D., Jensen, L., & Smith, H. (2004). Preventing and treating heart disease in women. Nursing, 344-8.

De Vito, K. M., Baer, H. J., Dart, H., Chiuve, S. E., Rimm, E. B., & Colditz, G. A. (2015). Validation of a risk prediction tool for coronary heart disease in middle-aged women. BMC Women’s Health, 151-9. doi:10.1186/s12905-015-0250-x