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A. The Number One Killer of American Women

Narrator: This is Science Today. In the year 2000, among all deaths of American women, thirty percent was attributed to heart disease. Another nine percent of women died of stroke, so cardiovascular disease as a whole accounts for about forty percent of deaths among women. Deborah Lindes, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says although heart disease is a huge problem for women, it's not recognized as such. Instead, Lindes says women are more concerned about breast cancer, which in comparison, accounts for three percent of female deaths in this country.

Lindes: Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. One in ten women in the middle-aged years have heart disease and that goes up dramatically as women age. One in four women over sixty-five have some form of heart disease.

Narrator: And yet, Lindes says women with heart disease don't report their symptoms as readily as men do, so they tend to delay seeing a doctor until later in the course of their disease.

Lindes: Partly because women when they have symptoms, tend to think that - well, this is probably not a heart attack, I'm a woman isn't this a problem for men and attribute their symptoms to other causes.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.