What is the leading cause of death for women?
The answer is heart disease. We often think of heart disease as a man's disease. But, heart disease is also the number one killer of American women. More women die from heart disease than cancer, accidents, and diabetes combined. Based on the data, a women's first heart attack is more likely than a man's to be fatal. In part, poorer outcomes for women are the result of being older and having existing health problems at the time of the first attack. But women also wait longer to seek emergency care. Many are living alone, are concerned about maintaining their independence and worry about being a "bother" to others. In all likelihood, these factors contribute to poorer health outcomes.
Gail Carlson, MPH Ph.D., Continuing Medical Education,
School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia
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Last update: Wednesday, November 26, 2008