Heart disease is the single biggest killer of Australian men – that’s a fact. What is less well-known is that it is also the biggest killer of Australian women.
Heart disease, particularly in women, is often a seemingly invisible condition. But it can have a devastating impact on those that it touches. With the long-standing focus being the impact on men, it’s time to make the invisible visible.
This June, the Heart Research Institute stands in support of the Heart Foundation’s ‘Making the Invisible Visible’ campaign, and shines the spotlight on heart disease in women.
- Every hour of every day, heart disease claims the life of one Australian woman. That’s 24 women every day.
- One in five women has cardiovascular disease, and more than one in three women will die from it.
- Women are three times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.
Dispelling the myths
While it’s often considered an older person’s condition, heart disease does not discriminate. It can affect people of all ages, including younger women. In fact, over 6% of the deaths of women under 54 can be attributed to heart disease.
A heart attack is also often preceded by chest pain. However, research has found that more than 40% of women will not experience chest pain before they suffer a heart attack. So what are the signs?
Knowing the signs
Heart attack symptoms in women tend to be more subtle than in men and easily mistaken for other health conditions. Women are more likely to experience non-chest pain symptoms of a heart attack, such as:
- Pain in the jaw, back or neck
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting and cold sweats
- Overwhelming weakness or fatigue
- Anxiety, lethargy and loss of appetite.
Knowing the warning signs could save your life or the life of someone you know. Let’s make the invisible visible and help protect the hearts of the women we love.
Making the invisible visible
It’s easy to get involved and show your support! Simply:
- Make a red heart visible somewhere on your body, or capture your heart health message in a photo or short video, then
- Share it on social media with the hashtag #womenshearts to raise vital awareness of this crucial issue.
Want to know more?
Download our Women and Heart Disease information pack.