Skip to Main Content




Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in women.1 Nearly half-a-million women die each year in the United States from ischemic heart disease (IHD) and its related conditions with the most recent annual statistics on mortality reporting that CVD accounted for 421,918 deaths among women in the United States.2 In fact, current projections indicate this number will continue to rise with our aging population2,3,4 (Figure 4-1). Since 1982 more women than men have died annually from IHD2 (Figure 4-2), which is the leading killer of women with annual mortality rates exceeding those due to breast cancer in women of any age2,5 (Figure 4-3). Although in the last decade, there have been significant declines in female mortality due to coronary heart disease, these reductions lag behind those seen in men1 (see Figure 4-2). In addition, women under 65 suffer the highest relative sex-specific cardiovascular heart disease mortality (Figure 4-4). A study from the Journal of American Clinical Cardiology in 2007 noted that although mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) in men across all age groups has decreased, there has been a notable increase in mortality among women belonging to youngest age group (<55 years).6 This group of women, in particular, also have increased risk factors for CHD.6 Additionally, women were more likely to die of cardiac arrest before hospital arrival compared to men, 52% and 42% respectively.3 This prehospital death rate represents a worsening trend among women and a significant change from prior decades.7,8 Though there have been declines in sudden cardiac deaths in men, the condition of women has changed little9 (Figure 4-5), even those who are living with cardiovascular disease suffer greater morbidity and mortality than men. Upon examination of the specific diagnoses of CVD and comparison of their effects on gender, it has been proved that women not only suffer greater mortality, but greater morbidity as well. When compared with men, women suffer 2 times greater mortality and morbidity from angina and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).10 There is a 2 times greater incidence of congestive heart failure (CHF) and 1½ times greater 1-year mortality from myocardial infarction (MI) in women than men.10 Lastly, women with proven coronary artery disease (CAD) but stable angina have a higher probability of death or MI than men11 (Figure 4-6).


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other major causes of death: total, <85 years, and ≥85 years. Deaths among women, United States, 2007. Abbreviations: CLRD, chronic lower respiratory disease.2 National Center for Health Statistics and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Graphic Jump Location

Cardiovascular disease mortality trends for males and females (United States: 1979-2007). The overall comparability for cardiovascular disease between the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision (1979-1998) ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessCardiology Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessCardiology content and resources including textbooks such as Hurst's the Heart and Cardiology Clinical Questions, a unique library of multimedia, including heart imaging, an integrated drug database, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessCardiology

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.