Heart attacks are becoming more common among younger women.
Melissa Caughey and colleagues at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that in 1999, 21 percent of heart attacks occurred in women between the ages of 35 and 54.
By 2014, that percentage rose to 31 percent.
Experts say women tend to have more heart risk factors than men.
“The women with heart attacks had a higher prevalence of diabetes and hypertension than men of the same age group that had heart attacks,” Caughey says.
Those underlying problems are more frequent in women of color and data shows there’s an information gap.
“Where 63 percent of Caucasian women knew they were at risk for heart disease, only 34 and 38 percent of African American women and Latina women, respectively, knew they were at risk. So we have an awareness problem,” cardiologist Dr. Jennifer Mieres says.
Doctors recommend all women take control of their health by getting their blood pressure checked, exercising, quitting smoking, and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Circulation research article: Racial Differences in Sudden Cardiac Death