Go Red For Women Fast Facts



  1. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of one in three women.
  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Cardiovascular diseases kill one woman about every 80 seconds. But about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented.
  • More than 50 percent of women are aware that heart disease is their leading cause of death.
  • More than one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • About 4 million stroke survivors alive today are women.


  1. 2. Physical activity reduces women’s risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Being physically active is an important aspect of overall health for women.
  • Globally, about one in three women don’t get enough physical activity.
  • In the United States, only one in five women are getting the recommended amount of physical activity (both aerobic and strength training) under federal guidelines.


  1. Healthy eating is critical to managing weight and preventing cardiovascular disease in women.
  • About one in five female deaths in the world are due to poor nutrition.
  • About 45 percent of U.S. deaths caused by heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes are because of poor dietary habits, such as high sodium intake, high sugary drink consumption and low intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Too much sodium can raise blood pressure. High blood pressure raises the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
  • Sugary drink consumption is directly linked to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • More than 66 percent of women are overweight or obese.


  1. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the second leading cause of preventable heart disease and stroke death — second only to smoking.
  • Under the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology’s 2017 guidelines, nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure at 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90.
    • Hypertension rates are expected to double among women under age 45.
  • About 50 million women have hypertension in the United States.
  • More than 30 percent of cardiovascular events in women are due to hypertension.


  1. Women are grossly underrepresented in research and STEM fields.
  • Women occupy nearly half of all U.S. jobs, but less than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields.
  • Only about 20 percent of STEM bachelor’s degrees are earned by women.
  • Only three out of 100 female bachelor’s degree students continue to work in STEM fields after graduating.
  • Clinical trials have not always adequately enrolled women or analyzed sex-specific differences in the data.
  • Female heart attack patients may have better outcomes when treated by female physicians.

© Copyright 2018 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. Go Red for Women is a registered trademark of AHA. The Red Dress Design is a trademark of U.S. DHHS. Unauthorized use prohibited.

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