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Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America. One in nine women aged 45 to 64 has heart or blood vessel disease. After age 65, this number grows to one in five women.

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, makes your chances of developing heart disease go up. It is called the "silent killer" because most people who have it don't feel sick. It is important to have your blood pressure checked each time you see your doctor.

Women tend to have heart problems later in life than men do. They often face other sickness as well. And they are less likely to get well.

But there is good news: You can take steps now to help keep your heart healthy for the long term.

The Signs of Heart Disease

One of the key signs of heart disease is "angina." Angina is pain or tightness in the chest during physical activity or stress.

Angina can also cause:

Women suffer more "silent," or unrecognized, heart attacks than men. The following signs are fairly common:

Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

To learn more:

National High Blood Pressure Education Program
c/o NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Information Center
Phone: 301-592-8573

October 2003

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