Women Overview

  • A woman’s lifetime risk of dying from heart disease is eight times greater than from breast cancer. Although heart disease develops 10 to 15 years later in women than in men, more women die from heart disease each year than men in the US and many other countries (See women and heart disease).
  • As recently as 2004, in the United States, less than 20% of physicians were aware that women are more likely than men to die of heart disease. This is probably true today for the rest of the world.
  • The age-standardized mortality from CAD in the United States has decreased by two-thirds since 1980 to 96/100,000 in 2007.1
  • Globally, 3.4 million women die of coronary artery disease (CAD).1 By 2020, CAD will have increased by 120% among women from 1990’s levels.2
  • The average lifetime cost estimate of women with mild heart disease is $770,000 and ranged from $100,000 to $1.1 million for women depending upon the number of diseased arteries.


1. Mosca L, Benjamin EJ, Berra K, et al. Effectiveness-based guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women-2011 update a guideline from the american heart association. J Am Coll Cardiol. Mar 22 2011;57(12):1404-1423.

2. Gaziano TA. Reducing the growing burden of cardiovascular disease in the developing world. Health Aff (Millwood). Jan-Feb 2007;26(1):13-24.

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