Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Women and Heart Disease: Key Facts You Need to Know

Experts share information about symptoms and risks that even the most health-savvy people may not know.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Which one of the following statements is true?

The answer: All of them. And experts say they represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the facts that many women, and even some doctors, don't realize about women and heart disease.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

How to Wreck Your Heart

When it comes to the heart’s health, there are some things you can’t control -- like getting older, or having a parent with heart disease. But there are many more things you can do to lower the chances of sabotaging your ticker. “An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure in this instance,” says Gregg Fonarow, MD, an American Heart Association spokesman and associate chief of UCLA's division of cardiology. To help your heart keep on keeping on, here are 10 things not to do.

Read the How to Wreck Your Heart article > >

"Women tend to think that breast cancer is their biggest health threat. And while it's important, heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women, even young women. But that message just hasn't been fully recognized," says cardiologist Nicea Goldberg, MD, director of the Women's Heart Program at NYU Medical Center and author of the new book Complete Woman's Guide to Women's Health.

Dave Woynarowski, MD, agrees. "If you look [at] how many women get heart attacks and how many women die of heart attacks, you would be stunned; still, many women just don't seem to realize how great a threat heart disease really is," says Woynarowski, an internal medicine specialist from West Reading, Pa.

The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that 42.1 million women had cardiovascular disease in 2004, resulting in some 461,000 deaths.

Moreover, Woynarowski says too often the symptoms and risk factors of heart disease go unnoticed, sometimes even by doctors.

"Even in the emergency room, many times doctors will attribute a woman's symptoms to something other than heart disease. There is simply not enough awareness on either side of the stethoscope," he says.

To help get up to speed, take WebMD's Women's Heart Health Quiz. Find out what you need to know about the symptoms and risk factors of heart disease in women, and what steps you and your doctor can take to protect you.

The WebMD Women's Heart Health Quiz

1. True or False: As long as my cholesterol and blood pressure are normal, I don't have to worry about having a heart attack.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure