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Women and Heart Disease


Heart disease is the number one killer of American women. If you’re a woman, it can affect you at age, at any time. It can also affect you differently from men. That's why St. John's hospitals makes it a priority to educate women to improve your heart health.

Women’s Heart Care

Most women don't realize that their risk factors for heart disease are different than those of men. While age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and family history are known risk factors, there are other factors particular to women: 

  • Women who have high job stress have a 40% increase in cardiovascular disease and an 88% increase in heart attack risk
  • Conditions involving chronic inflammation such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis nearly double a woman's risk for heart disease
  • Pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke later in life
  • Metabolic syndrome - a combination of fat around your abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides - has a greater impact on women than on men
  • Smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than in men
  • Low levels of estrogen after menopause pose a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease in the smaller blood vessels

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