Women's Heart Disease Is Different

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in the U.S.

Some discrepancies emerge beyond this shared statistic. Jennifer H. Mieres, MD, FACC, MASNC, FAHA, a Go Red for Women volunteer, says, "Women are not small men." Dr. Mieres believes women have smaller hearts, finer veins, thinner chamber walls, & a faster heart beat. 

Other gender-based characteristics affect heart disease risk, & researchers are just beginning to grasp why.

Age raises everyone's heart disease risk. On average, women develop heart problems later than males, notes Kathryn Lindley, MD, FACC, head of the ACC Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee.

According to the Journal of Circulatory Development & Disease, oestrogen protects the heart & cardiovascular system. During menopause, oestrogen levels fall, increasing a woman's heart disease risk.

Men & women experience heart disease differently. Dr. Mieres believes heart failure in men is usually caused by a heart attack & heart muscle weakness.

American Heart Association: Women with diabetes are twice as likely as males to have heart disease.

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