Heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are devastating to women, too. In fact, coronary heart disease, which causes heart attack, is the single leading cause of death for American women. Many women believe that cancer is more of a threat, but they’re wrong. Nearly twice as many women in the United States die of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer, including breast cancer.
The American Heart Association has identified several factors that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The more risk factors a woman has, the greater her risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Some of these risk factors you can’t control, such as increasing age, family health history, and race and gender. But you can modify, treat or control most risk factors to lower your risk.