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C. Gender And Heart Disease

Narrator: This is Science Today. Women are more likely than men to die of a heart attack and have more complications after invasive cardiac procedures. Dr. Rita Redberg, co-director of a women's health center at the University of California, San Francisco, says there are a few theories as to why this is, including the fact that women on average are older than men when they first present with heart disease.

Redberg: And there's some debate over whether that's a protective effect of estrogen because we don't start seeing significant increase in heart disease in women until after age fifty - so, after the menopause.

Narrator: Redberg says there's a lack of awareness amongst women about heart disease, even though it's the number one killer of both men and women in this country.

Redberg: Only seven percent of all women cited heart disease as their greatest health threat. And based on that, the American Heart Association launched a campaign aimed at women to increase awareness of heart disease because heart disease is largely preventable and that's why it's so important for people to be educated about their risks for heart disease.

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