February is Heart Month! Heart disease is often thought of as a man’s disease, but did you know more women die of heart disease per year than any other cause of death, including breast cancer? Each year, 455,000 women die of heart disease as compared to 410,000 men. Moreover, heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, equating to the death of approximately one woman each minute.
Women are not only more likely to die from heart disease; they also have higher mortality rates due to complications after a heart attack. Though this might be frightening to hear, this reality is due to the misconception that men’s and women’s hearts are the same and that their symptoms of heart disease and heart attacks are the same. A 2011 study focused on heart disease and women, conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), found that women were twice as likely to die within one year of having a heart attack than men who also suffered a heart attack.
When UnityPoint contacted me about sharing this I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. As a registered nurse I know this, but it’s important for everybody to know. People need to take extra steps to take care of themselves. Starting with a healthy diet, exercise, and annual physicals!