Sex differences in heart disease: A closer look

Heart attack symptoms can differ between men and women, but not as much as you might think.

Published: October, 2020

Thanks to national campaigns to boost awareness, more people now recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women as well as in men. For both sexes, cardiovascular disease is to blame for one of every three deaths in the United States.

Throughout the country, someone has a heart attack — the most common manifestation of this prevalent disease — about every 40 seconds, on average. Maybe you've heard that women are more likely to have "atypical" heart attack symptoms than men. But what does that really mean? A review article in the May 2020 Journal of the American Heart Association offers some perspective.

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