Heart Disease is the Number One Killer of Women

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A group of women wearing red cheering

Nearly one-third of women Veterans under VA care have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer
February is American Heart Month. VA’s Women’s Health Services is proud to collaborate with the American Heart Association (AHA) to bring awareness and knowledge to women Veterans, their families and caregivers about heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Every minute in America, a woman dies of a heart attack, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease. Approximately one out of every three women experience some form of cardiovascular disease, and most of those cases are preventable if a woman leads a heart-healthy lifestyle.

“Women often don’t realize that they are at risk,” says Dr. Sally Haskell, Deputy Chief Consultant for VA’s national Women’s Health Services office. “While VA has several tools to help women become and stay heart-healthy, we must raise awareness so they know it is an issue they must consider every day. Being heart-healthy isn’t a one day decision; it’s a lifetime of choices.”

VA’s largest female population — women Veterans aged 45 to 64 — are facing their critical years for heart health. Cardiovascular risk factors are prevalent among women Veteran patients overall, as nearly one-third of women Veterans under VA care have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.

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