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Can a woman have a heart attack before she goes through menopause?

Women, even young women, have heart attacks. A persistent myth is that heart disease is a men’s disease, but heart attacks are actually the number one killer of women in the United States. In fact, younger women who suffer heart attacks do not fare as well as their male conterparts.

While heart disease risk rises after menopause, heart disease can strike women at younger ages than most people think. One in three women over the age of 20 has some form of cardiovascular disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the third most common cause of death among women ages 25 to 44 years old and two-thirds of women who have heart attacks never fully recover. About 80 percent of women under 40 who have heart attacks are smokers. Smokers who quit see a substantial reduction in heart disease risk in only one or two years.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.