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senior woman holding red heartPop quiz – what’s the number-one killer of women? Is it breast cancer? No.

Cardiovascular disease leads the list and is responsible for one in three deaths for women each year. That’s just one of the myths about heart disease that may be keeping you from taking your heart health seriously.

Another myth is that heart disease is for old people. In fact, it affects women of all ages. For younger women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking can raise heart disease risk by 20 percent. Even with a healthy lifestyle, an underlying condition can also be a risk factor. 

Maybe you’re into fitness and maintain a healthy weight so heart disease isn’t a worry for you, right? Wrong. Things like what you eat and your cholesterol levels can outweigh those healthy habits. And yes, you can be thin and have high cholesterol.

You can’t have heart problems because you feel fine but two out of three women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. And the symptoms that a woman experiences may not be what you expect.

Rather than having chest pain, heart attack symptoms for women can be more subtle. Shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, back or jaw pain, breaking out in a cold sweat or sudden extreme fatigue are all common symptoms of a heart attack for women.

Perhaps you’re resigned to having heart problems because cardiovascular disease runs in your family. It’s true that you’re at higher risk but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to improve those odds.

Creating a healthy heart plan with help from your doctor can significantly reduce those risks. And it works because heart disease death rates are falling as more women forget the myths and learn the truth about protecting themselves against heart disease.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax