Monday, May 6, 2019

May is Women's Heart and Stroke Month

Heart attacks and strokes were once viewed as diseases that primarily impacted the lives of men. But we know that women suffer, too—often in higher numbers. Women also have unique risk factors for these cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and often present distinct signs and symptoms during heart attacks That’s why the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP) is shining a light on CVD and women this May by promoting messages and resources to help women “Know. Talk. Act.” to prevent disease and stay healthy at every age.

  • One in three women dies of heart disease. But just half of women know that heart disease is their number one killer.
  • About 6 in 10 stroke deaths are in women.
  • Women have unique risks for stroke, including using certain types of birth control medicines, especially while smoking, and havingpreeclampsia.
  • Women can have unique heart attack symptoms. The most common symptom is chest pain, but women more often experience less common symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, and nausea.
  • One in three women has high blood pressure, and nearly half do not have it under control. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and heart attack

  • KNOW your risks for heart disease and stroke and ways to prevent them at every stage of life.
  • TALK to your family about its history of heart disease and stroke and to your health care team about how to manage your risks.
  • ACT early to establish and sustain heart-healthy habits that can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke now and in the future.

  • Use your networks and encourage women to “Know. Talk. Act.” Continue to take action by getting involved in the following:
  • Follow CDC DHDSP and Million Hearts® on social media. Share actionable tips and unique, information-rich graphics throughout the month by using #StrokeMonth and #NWHW in your social media posts.
  • Visit our Stroke Communications Kit for sample messages and graphics to use on your digital channels throughout the month.
  • Learn more about women and CVD. Read our latest CDC Feature article at and share it with your friends and family.

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