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Why do men develop coronary heart disease earlier than women?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

For many years, coronary heart disease was widely believed to be a man's disease. We now know that being a woman does not protect you from coronary heart disease, although it may delay symptoms. Men typically develop the disease after age 45, ten years earlier than women do. High levels of estrogen protect women from the disease into their mid-50s, until these levels drop following menopause. After 55, the death rate for women climbs and after age 70, the death rate for women exceeds that for men.

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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.