10 things you didn't know about women and heart and circulatory disease

Posted on: 28 March 2018 by 50connect editorial

As a woman, it’s vital to know how heart disease can affect you. Here are 10 oft ignored facts and statistics about women and the risk of heart disease.

cardiovascular disease and older women

Heart and circulatory conditions kill as many women in the UK as they do men – that’s over a quarter of all premature deaths. Cardiovascular disease, or CVD for short, means all the diseases of the heart and circulation, including coronary heart disease (angina and heart attack) and stroke.

  1. Women are two times more likely to die of heart disease than they are of cancer.
  2. One in 100 women experience early menopause, before the age of 40. It puts them at particularly high risk of premature heart and circulatory disease, as well as osteoporosis (a condition that weakens bones).
  3. Having diabetes can double the risk of developing heart and circulatory disease. Women with diabetes are three to five times more likely to get heart and circulatory disease than women without.
  4. Research funded by British Heart Foundation (BHF) has shown that a new high-sensitivity blood test for troponin – a protein released from the heart during a heart attack – results in improved diagnosis of heart attack, particularly in women.
  5. There are more than 900,000 women in the UK living with CHD. Over 30,000 women die from it each year.
  6. Women tend to wait longer than men before calling 999 after first experiencing heart attack symptoms.
  7. One in five women in the UK smoke. Women who smoke have nearly twice the risk of having a heart attack, compared with women who have never smoked.
  8. About 60% of women in the UK have high cholesterol levels. One of the main causes of high blood cholesterol levels is eating too much saturated fat. However, some people have high blood cholesterol even though their diet is healthy. For example, they may have inherited a condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH)
  9. Research shows that women are at greater risk of having a stroke than men. Women also tend to be more seriously affected by stroke and more likely to need long-term care.
  10. If you’re over 40 years old, you are entitled to a health check which is carried out by your GP or practice nurse.

Celebrate your life by helping others

Legacy gifts come from ordinary people, and they are crucial to funding life saving research. It's so easy to leave a gift in your Will. By remembering the BHF in your Will with a share of what remains, after family and friends have been looked after, you can help create the next medical advances. What better way to thank the people and causes that have had an impact on your life, than to make a contribution through a gift in your Will?

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