What do Women worry about, growing older, larger, developing a cancer or having a heart attack?

Jeane Hailes for Women's Health , the not-for-profit organisation has released research data for Women's Health Week demonstrating that one in five women are concerned about weight and aging, but only one in ten have concerns about cancer and mental health and one in twenty has concerns about heart disease, the single biggest killer of Australian Women in Australia. Heart disease kills 30 women per day.

Cardiovascular disease includes diseases of the heart, arteries and veins and the main causes of death are heart attack and stroke Heart attack symptoms can be different for women compared to men. Women are more likely to experience breathlessness ,dizziness, nausea, fatigue and pain in the back with a heart attack than men who present more often with the classical heavy chest pain and jaw ache. Women are more likely to delay seeking help when having symptoms of a heart attack than men. A stroke may include blurred vision, numbness, weakness of the arms and altered speech and the presentation is similar in women and men.

Women derive similar clinical benefit to men from treatment of cardiovascular disease, but receive less medical therapy and less intervention. They also have a worse prognosis than men, it is thought due to later diagnosis , but all the reasons  for this are unknown, but currently being investigated by many.

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are grouped into those that can be modified and those that are not altered by the individual.  

Modifiable risk factors are:


  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Physical inactivity
  • Overweight/ obesity

Non-modifiable risk factors are:


  • Increasing age
  • A family history of premature death from heart disease ( < 60years)
  • Gender

 Most women have two or more modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which is the biggest killer of women in Australia. Many of the risk factors can be easily detected and simple management initiated by a GP

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