Women Today Are Less Aware Of Their Heart Disease Risk

Two studies about heart disease should be of significant interest to women shares the director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance (AACII).

Heart disease is typically seen as a man’s disease,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the critical illness insurance group.  “Women today are less aware that heart disease is the top killer of women in the United States.”   Slome is also director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

About 300,000 women die of heart disease each year according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  “Heart disease causes one in three deaths for women each year,” cites Slome. “That’s approximately one woman every minute.”

According to AACII, heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, causing more deaths than all forms of cancer combined. In men, the risk for heart attack increases significantly after the age of 45. In women, heart attacks are more likely to occur after the age of 50.

Slome shared two recent studies focused on heart disease and women.  Speaking to leading insurance professionals, he shared findings from The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.  The study found that while the heart attack rates have decreased among older adults, they have risen among those ages 35-54, especially women.

A second national survey just released by the American Heart Association (AHA) found that only 44 percent of women knew heart disease is the top killer for females.  The percentage is down substantially from their 2009 study where 65 percent understood this important fact.

According to the latest AHA survey findings, the awareness decline was concentrated among women younger than age 65, and was greater among Hispanic and Black women than it was for white women.  Among women younger than 65, heart disease awareness dropped over the decade.

When it came to awareness of heart disease as the leading cause of death, the steepest declines were among women aged 25 to 34 (an 81% decline), Hispanic women (86% decline) and Black women (67% decline).

“The good news is that most women will survive a heart attack,” Slome notes.  “But survival comes at a steep financial price that women are not preparing for.”  Slome notes that women in particular would benefit from modest amounts of critical illness insurance protection.  “A policy that pays a lump-sum cash benefit of $15,000 might cost a 48-year old woman around $20-per month,” he acknowledges.

To learn more about critical illness insurance rates and planning, visit the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance Website.  AACII advocates for the importance of planning and supports insurance professionals who market cancer and ci insurance protection.

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