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Why are More Women Than Men Dying of Heart Disease?

Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

Ladies, let's have a heart-to-heart...about our hearts.

We've all heard the statistics. Heart disease is the #1 killer in America. We all need to exercise more, eat healthier, and quit smoking to decrease our risk.

And the good news is that overall, deaths from heart disease have decreased since 1984. But women are dying from heart disease in greater numbers than men, and doctors are beginning to pinpoint why.

In 10 to 30 percent of women, versus a much smaller percentage of men, heart disease gets sneaky. Rather than blocking your arteries, which would show up in a standard angiogram, the disease causes the arteries to not dilate and constrict properly, preventing blood and oxygen from reaching the heart.

The really scary thing is, less than 25 percent of these types of patients will receive any treatment.

Physicians need to be on higher alert for these types of symptoms, but in the meantime you can work to reduce your risk and continue to ask questions of your doctor if you're still having symptoms, despite your angiogram being clear.

Photo credit: oedipusphinx on Flickr

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