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One of every 10 women and men has a diagnosed cardiovascular disease

Data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) show that 11.6 percent (12.9 million) of women and 11.4 percent (11.7 million) of men age 18 and older reported being told by a doctor they have cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular heart disease includes coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.

AHRQ data on women and cardiovascular disease also show that:

  • Roughly one-third of women age 65 and older have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, compared with 12.4 percent of those ages 45 to 64 and 3.6 percent of younger adult women.
  • Nearly 22 percent of women who are no longer married have cardiovascular disease, compared with 9.8 percent of married women and 4.6 percent of single women.
  • Cardiovascular disease is diagnosed most in non-Hispanic white women (13.4 percent) and in Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women the least (3.4 percent). Black and Hispanic women fall in between (9.9 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively).
  • Women account for nearly half (48.3 percent) of the more than 6 million hospital stays a year for cardiovascular disease and other circulatory disorders.
  • Women account for more than half of all hospital stays for nonspecific chest pain and congestive heart failure, half the stays for irregular heart beat, and 40 percent of those for heart attack and stroke.
  • One-third more women (9.3 percent) than men (6.2 percent) die in hospitals from heart attack.

These statistics, which are for 2003, were drawn from the data files of AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey ( and from Hospitalizations for Women with Circulatory Disease: 2003, HCUP Statistical Brief #5 at

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