Evidence-Based Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Women: 2007 Update
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Worldwide, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the largest single cause of death among women, accounting for one third of all deaths. In many countries, including the United States, more women than men die every year of CVD, a fact largely unknown by physicians. The public health impact of CVD in women is not related solely to the mortality rate, given that advances in science and medicine allow many women to survive heart disease. For example, in the United States, 38.2 million women (34%) are living with CVD, and the population at risk is even larger. In China, a country with a population of approximately 1.3 billion, the age-standardized prevalence rates of dyslipidemia and hypertension in women 35 to 74 years of age are 53% and 25%, respectively, which underscores the enormity of CVD as a global health issue and the need for prevention of risk factors in the first place. As life expectancy continues to increase and economies become more industrialized, the burden of CVD on women and the global economy will continue to increase.