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Heart disease

We’re here to help you make your heart healthy

Coronary heart disease takes years to develop and, in the case of women, it takes almost a decade longer to show up than it does in men. By then, you’re often concerned with health problems such as cancer, arthritis or osteoporosis. These diseases tend to draw attention away from thinking about heart disease. The fact is, one in two women will eventually die of heart disease or stroke compared to one in 25 who will die from breast cancer.

Here are some other facts about women and heart disease:

  • In 63 percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease, there were no previous symptoms.
  • The most prevalent and preventable risk factor for sudden cardiac death in women younger than age 45 is cigarette smoking.
  • The number of deaths due to heart disease in women is increasing.
  • The death rate due to heart disease is 34 percent higher in black women than white women.


Although heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, 80 percent of heart disease is preventable. By making these lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of heart disease:

  • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – calculate your healthy body weight or check your body mass index.
    Check your body mass index here »
  • Quit smoking.
  • Eat foods that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.
    Take a cholesterol quiz »
  • Take prescription medications appropriately.
  • Manage your risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes).

Novant Health offers classes that teach you how to make these lifestyle changes as well as personalized risk assessments designed to help you identify and understand your risk factors. Following your risk assessment, we will work closely with you and your doctor to develop an individualized wellness plan designed specifically around you and your personal needs.

Learn more about women and heart disease »

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Health information

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Audio resources

e-Health News : Podcasts : Heart Care

4 Heart-Related Conditions You Can Work to Prevent

A Healthy Diet Still One of the Best Defenses Against Heart Attack