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Women's Hearts

Today on A Moment of Science, we discuss a problem with the medical system that needs to be corrected.

Time once again for What You Didn't Know. This is where we read a well-known science fact and then surprise you with the follow-up. Ready? Heart disease is a leading cause of death... for women.

It's not only a leading cause of death, it's the leading cause of death. Women over fifty are more likely to die of heart attacks than anything else. You probably thought heart attacks were a guy thing.

Well, a recent American Heart Association poll asked what the leading cause of death in women over fifty was. Only eight percent of women polled got the answer correct. Even more alarming, a Gallup poll asked doctors the same question. Only fifty-five percent knew it.

Heart disease happens to women just as much as to men--maybe even more. The number of men dying of heart attacks is dropping, studies show, while the number of women dying of them is on the rise. Some researchers speculate that it has to do with this lack of understanding that heart disease isn't just a male problem. Men may be getting better prevention and better treatment, while women's warning signs are being missed.

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