Heart Information: Think of a heart attack victim and you'll probably picture a middle-aged man, perhaps a little paunchy, most likely a workaholic executive type. It's a stereotype that has been reinforced by the media and by the medical profession itself, which in the past has focused much of its research into heart disease on this type of patient. The facts, however, tell quite a different story. Heart disease is more than just a man's disease-much more. One in 9 women between the ages of 45 and 64 has some form of cardiovascular disease, ranging from coronary artery disease to stroke or renal vascular disease. By the time a woman reaches 65, she has a 1 in 3 chance of developing cardiovascular disease. And a number of studies show that African-American women are at even greater risk than these averages. Heart disease, in its various forms, is the leading killer of American women. The following statistics paint a graphic picture: * One-third of all deaths of American women each year are attributable to heart disease. Heart disease kills more women each year than cancer, accidents, and diabetes combined. * All forms of cardiovascular disease kill nearly 500,000 American women a year. Stroke alone kills 88,000. * Myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, kills 244,000 women a year. * Forty percent of women with heart disease will eventually die of it.
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