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Deaths from Heart- and Cardiovascular Diseases

In every single age group men or boys are more likely to die of heart disease than women or girls are, by ratios ranging from 1.07:1 to 2.52:1.


US Heart Disease Fatalities –The Hype and the Truth

The Hype, as per Oprah

Women, Women, Women...They do have hearts

"Women do have hearts," said Dr. Reichman, the guest on the Oprah Show, February 25, 2002, to the great laughter of the audience.   Everybody seemed a bit relieved to hear that, after hearing the grim "facts," namely that heart disease in women is a neglected issue, and that on account of that many women don't know about one of the gravest dangers to their lives. 

A quick look at Oprah's website provides a summary of what was covered in the show.

How is Your Heart?

It is the number one killer of women. Most women don't believe it can happen to them, but it is estimated that one out of every two women will die from heart disease.

All About Heart Disease

Get the facts.

The Facts About Heart Disease for Women

Heart disease is striking women in epidemic proportions. The statistics are chilling. Become knowledgeable about this silent killer.

The Facts

Heart disease is the number one killer of women.

...it is estimated that one out of every two women will die from heart disease.

Heart disease kills ten times more women than breast cancer each year, and more than all other cancers combined.

One in ten women aged 45 to 64 already suffers from some form of heart disease.

...nearly one fourth of women who died of heart disease were between the ages of 35 and 44.

Women vs. Men

Many of the symptoms of heart disease [in women] are often ignored, unrecognized or misdiagnosed, because women's symptoms are completely different than men's.

Women under the age of 75 are twice as likely to die than men, because both female and male doctors often misdiagnose the symptoms, according to Dr. Judith Reichman.

...women have heart attacks five to ten years later than men, because women's estrogen levels decrease over time and as women become menopausal, they lose some of their protection against heart disease.

...women's hearts are physically different than men's. ...arteries that provide blood flow to the heart muscle, men's are like rigid pipes, while women's are soft. Only 30% of women who have heart attacks have calcium in their arteries, whereas 90% of men who have heart attacks have calcium in their arteries. Therefore, heart disease is a different disease for women than it is for men.

What African American Women Should Know

African American women are more at risk for heart disease than Caucasian women. ...if an African American woman has a heart attack, she is 69% more likely to die of that heart attack than a Caucasian woman, according to Dr. Judith Reichman.

By the time African American women are in their late 60's, 79% will have developed high blood pressure, according to Dr. Judith Reichman.

Much of that is true, but much of it isn't, but when did the Oprah Show ever let the truth get in the way of a good piece of hype?  Obviously the show is not bound by any rules for journalistic ethics or integrity. 

The Truth

Statistics from the US Center for Disease Control are shown farther down.  They are the basis for the following comments relating to the Oprah Winfrey women's-heart-disease hype.  The first piece, on which all else on the show was based, was this:

Heart Disease is the number one killer of women.

That is very true.  As to the claim that "...it is estimated that one out of every two women will die from heart disease," well, that is almost true.  In 1995, 41 percent of all women who died did so from heart disease, and 28 percent died of cancer.  The corresponding numbers for men are 40 percent and 31 percent, respectively, with most of the men, unlike women, dying at an early age and prematurely, while the women, and especially those dying of heart disease, died mostly at a ripe old age that men can only hope to attain when all anti-male discrimination has been completely eradicated.
     "Heart disease kills ten times more women than breast cancer each year," it was stated.  It is true that breast cancer receives a lot of attention, but then, why not mention that cancer of the prostrate doesn't, even though it kills as many men as breast cancer kills women. 
   Are we to assume that what is needed now is to increase funding for research into "women's" heart disease, to a level that is ten times the level of funding for breast cancer research?  Who knows?  We can only go by what has been done before in such feminist propaganda efforts, and by what is being done, namely that men's health issues, and specifically men's heart diseases are being neglected in favour of concern for women. 
   However, if we want to extrapolate funding from one endeavor to another and prorate the funding according to the numbers of victims served in each, why not extrapolate from the funding for the prevention of violence against women to the funding required for "women's" heart disease research?  That would prorate the funding not at the mere ratio of one to ten, it would prorate it at a far greater ratio, one of 1,000:374,000, or 1:374..  That would really bring "women's" heart disease research into the money.  With a few more follow-up shows Oprah might be able to go for the whole bundle, not just a piddling factor of ten.  Why not, eh?

Regardless of how much spin is put on the numbers, there's no way of getting around the hard and cold truth: in every single age group men and boys are more likely to die of heart disease than women or girls are, by ratios ranging from 1.07:1 to 2.52:1. 

Up to age 74, more boys and men die of heart disease than girls and women do.   It is only after age 74, when the population of men has shrunk to become almost insignificant, that the women that outlive men begin to die of heart disease in larger numbers than the few men do that survive to the ripe old age that men's sacrifices enable women to reach.  However, even in the 75-84 and in the 85-and-over age range, the few remaining men are still more likely than women to die of heart disease.(see table)

Well, what are we to do about that?  We all have to die, even if we get to be very old and even though women get to be much older than men yet.  The heart is usually the very last thing that gives out.  If nothing else kills us, a failing heart will.   The arrival of death is usually announced when the heart stops beating.  As hard as Oprah Winfrey and her fans may find that to accept, women too must die in the end.

All efforts to the contrary, life is always fatal.  It invariably ends.   The sad fact is that it ends prematurely for the vast majority of men.  One of the factors contributing to that is that men die far more likely than women of heart disease at any stage of their life.  In spite of that, the Oprah Show stated:

Women vs. Men: Women under the age of 75 are twice as likely to die than men, because both female and male doctors often misdiagnose the symptoms, according to Dr. Judith Reichman.

Sorry Ms. Winfrey, that is a serious error!  Women under age 75 are not twice as likely to die of heart disease, nor are they more likely than men to die of all causes of death combined. In total, in 1995, 1,041,109 boys and men and only 917,170 girls and women died of all causes and at all ages combined. 
   Except for the older age groups, up to age 65, far more men than women died prematurely in 1995 (342,527 men vs. 186,774 women), but there was one single major cause of disease in which women outdid men: cerebrovascular disease, which killed 10,315 girls and women vs. 8,631 boys and men in the age range 0-64. 
   However, as far as heart disease goes, the claim made on the Oprah Show, that women under age 75 are twice as likely than men to die from heart disease, is either an enormous error or quite simply a big lie.  An error from such a carefully selected expert as Dr. Judith Reichman was made out to be is not very likely.

In 1997 there were 204,930 boys and men and 119,193 girls and women under age 75 that died of heart disease.  It would have been correct to state that in the age range 75 and under, twice as many boys and men than girls and women die of heart disease. To simply state the converse is far from being good enough. That may be acceptable in feminist circles but not to the public which rightfully expects to hear the whole truth and not just a totally distorted half of it.

It must be embarrassing for the Oprah Show to be caught in telling such a big whopper, but what makes that big lie truly bad is that it, deliberate or not, got put into motion with millions of women that were watching.  How many countries is the Oprah Show being exported to now?  It seems to me that the last figure I heard a while back was something in the order of 63.
   Can such an enormous distortion of the truth be corrected?  I'm afraid that isn't possible.  Even if a retraction were to be broadcast, once set into motion, the "big lie" can never be called back.

Women vs. Men: Women have heart attacks five to ten years later than men, because women's estrogen levels decrease over time and as women become menopausal, they lose some of their protection against heart disease.

Translated into reality, that means: Women have heart attacks in appreciable numbers that equal or exceed those of men in the older age groups because women outlive and outnumber men in that age range by a factor of two, and women outlive men in part because women under age 75 are only half as likely than men to die of heart disease. 
   True to the doctrine of feminist dialectics, the Oprah Show managed to turn one of many advantages that women have over men into an instance of a handicap afflicting women.

How does one do that?  It's easy:

...women's hearts are physically different than men's. ...arteries that provide blood flow to the heart muscle, men's are like rigid pipes, while women's are soft. Only 30% of women who have heart attacks have calcium in their arteries, whereas 90% of men who have heart attacks have calcium in their arteries. Therefore, heart disease is a different disease for women than it is for men.

What African American Women Should Know

African American women are more at risk for heart disease than Caucasian women. ...if an African American woman has a heart attack, she is 69% more likely to die of that heart attack than a Caucasian woman, according to Dr. Judith Reichman.

It's all right and to be expected that the Oprah Show manufactures concern for African-American women.  After all, it's a feminist show hosted by an African-American woman.  Who gives a darn that men are twice as likely and African-American men more than twice as likely to die of a heart attack than Caucasian women are?  Does anyone really think that any men matter that much that one should trouble herself to tell the truth, nothing but the truth and all of the truth?
   The only thing that matters is that African-American women are 1.69 times more likely than Caucasian women are to die of a heart attack.  And if you don't understand that sufficiently well to comprehend that women, and especially women of any minority, deserve more compassion than the beastly men that want nothing more then to be allowed a place under the sun for as long as women get it and not to die so much sooner than women do, then you must be a blockhead, most likely a typical patriarchal male out to oppress women, and especially women of the African-American minority, right?

Deaths from heart and cardiovascuar diseases, by sex and age group, US, 1997

Note: The figures shown in the graph reflect fatalities from heart and cardiovascular diseases.  They are derived from data shown for the groups: ICD 390 to 459.9 at the CDC website.
   The relatively small and declining numbers of deaths for men aged 75 and over reflect the fact that by that age relatively few men are left alive who are still capable of dying.  That fact becomes a little clearer in the following table and graphs showing the death rates from heart diseases for the sexes.

Heart Disease Death Rates
US Population by Age-Group and Sex

Source: US Centre for Disease Control

 

Death Rates
(per 100,000 pop)

Age Group

Male

Female

M/F Ratio
< 1 26.9 22.4 1.20
1 - 4 2.1 1.6 1.31
5 - 9 0.9 0.8 1.13
10 - 14 1.5 1.2 1.25
15 - 19 3.3 2.2 1.50
20 - 24 5.8 4.2 1.38
25 - 34 13.6 8.4 1.62
35 - 44 53.4 24.4 2.19
45 - 54 185.4 73.5 2.52
55 - 64 513.5 234.4 2.19
65 - 74 1,269.0 698.4 1.82
75 - 84 3,144.5 2,209.3 1.42
85 + 8,736.2 8,159.6 1.07

US heart disease, relative death ratios (male:female), 1997

US heart disease, death rates by sex and age group per 100,000 pop., 1997


See also:

Ladies, when was the last time you visited a nursing home? Did you wonder why nearly all the residents were women? The reason is simple - men meet th...

Posted on Wednesday 30 January 2008 - 08:19:35 in Guest Commentary at ifeminist.net

...short-sighted neglect of men's health ends up as a cruel hoax for women. Go Red for Women also turns the do-or-die fight against heart disease i...

Posted on Wednesday 06 February 2008 - 07:13:48 in Guest Commentary at ifeminist.net

You are most likely alone when a heart attack hits you.  Here are simple instructions on what to do to save your own life.
(Full story – short and simple)


Back to Index of Men's Health Issues

__________________
Posted 2000 09 21
Updates:
2002 02 26 (added comments and graphs for US heart disease deaths and for relative heart disease death rates for men and women, and links to Oprah Winfrey's website)
2002 05 05 (added link to life-saver)