Unit 7 Part 1 Cardiovascular Disease Notes

Cardiovascular Disease 

  • Women are six times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.
  • Heart disease is the #1 cause of death among women in this country
  • The death rate from heart disease is 33% higher among African-American women than Caucasian women
  • Heart Attacks Are Caused by Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

 I.                   Risk Factors:  You Can’t Control

·         Family History: Women with a history of premature heart disease among parents or siblings are at higher risk

·         Age: As women grow older, the chance of developing heart disease increases (especially after the onset of menopause)

·         Race: African-American women have a higher risk of death from heart disease than white women 

II.                Risk Factors:  You Can Control 

·         Smoking

·         Cholesterol

·         Obesity

·         Physical Inactivity

·         Blood Pressure

·         Diabetes 

III.             Women’s Experience of Heart Disease Is Different Than Men’s 

·         Women are more likely to die within one year after a heart attack

·         Women are less likely to survive coronary artery bypass surgery

·         Women are more likely to experience complications after angioplasty

·         Women are more likely to have life threatening arrhythmias (irregular heart beats)

·         These differences may be partially due to hormones, a woman’s smaller heart size and advanced age at diagnosis 

IV.              Warning Signs of Heart Attack 

·         Discomfort in the chest, jaw, neck, back, shoulder or arm

·         Shortness of breath

·         Nausea and/or vomiting

·         Sweating

·         Fatigue, weakness

·         Feeling of anxiety

·         Women’s symptoms are often vague and easily overlooked due to menapause