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What is the leading cause of death in women over age 40?

Dr. Kelly A. Spratt, DO
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over age 40, especially in women experiencing menopause. Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 65. At this phase in a women’s life, her ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. This causes changes in her menstrual cycle along with other changes in her body, including the cardiovascular system. The decrease in estrogen at menopause may have negative effects on a woman’s cardiovascular system.

Prof. Kathy Snider
Neonatal Nursing Specialist

The most common cause of death in women is heart disease. Other chronic health issues include diabetes, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc. Any of these health issues can occur at any time in an adult woman's life.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in their forties, fifties and sixties. In addition to family history, the risk factors for heart disease include unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise and smoking.

High blood pressure is the number-one cause of heart attacks. Some pharmacies have blood-pressure machines that allow you to check this yourself, along with your cholesterol and blood sugar numbers.

If you smoke, seek help from your doctor. Your chance of quitting successfully using medication is about 50 percent as opposed to 5 percent when you try on your own.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

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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.