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BMJ. 2003 February 15; 326(7385): 355.
PMCID: PMC1169244

Women fail to recognise risk of heart disease

Women in the United Kingdom are failing to protect themselves from heart disease because they wrongly believe that they are more likely to die from breast cancer than from a heart attack.

Two out of five women think that cancer is the greatest threat to health and only one in four realise that heart disease is the single biggest killer of women, a report from the British Heart Foundation says.

Most people see heart disease as a men's problem. The truth is that nearly as many women as men die from heart disease every year in the United Kingdom, but women tend to develop it later. By the age of 75 more women die each year of heart disease than men.

The latest UK statistics show that although fewer people are dying from heart disease than 30 years ago, deaths among women are falling more slowly than among men. Also, the death rate from heart disease among women in the United Kingdom is falling more slowly than in other countries, including Australia, Denmark, and Norway.

Take Note of Your Heart: A Review of Women and Heart Disease 2003 is available at

Articles from BMJ : British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group