Of the women who died in 2008, one in four women dies from heart disease. It's the #1 killer of women, regardless of race or ethnicity. It also strikes at younger ages than most people think, and the risk rises in middle age.

Chart showing leading causes of death for American women-2008. Data points for the chart follow.

Number of Deaths* - Heart Disease, 305,630
Number of Deaths* - Stroke, 80,620
Number of Deaths* - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 71,760
Number of Deaths* - Lung Cancer, 70,070
Number of Deaths* - Breast Cancer, 40,590
Number of Deaths* - Diabetes, 35,210

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Numbers of deaths are based off the most recent data available and rounded to the nearest tenth.
*National Center for Health Statistics
 Unpublished NHLBI tabulation of 2008 mortality data.

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