Minority Women and Heart
disease is the leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska
Native women. Heart disease has also become a major cause of
disability and hospitalizations for American Indians/Alaska
Natives. More than half of American Indians/Alaska Natives have
at least one risk factor for heart disease, including
obesity, lack of exercise, and smoking.
Heart disease is a group
of diseases of the heart and the blood vessel system in the
Coronary heart disease, the most common type, affects the
blood vessels of the heart. It can cause
angina or a heart attack. Angina is a pain in the chest that
happens when the heart does not get enough blood. It may feel
like a pressing or squeezing pain, often in the chest, but
sometimes in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Having
angina means you're more likely to have a heart attack. A heart
attack happens when a blood vessel is blocked for more than 20
Signs of a heart
pain or discomfort in
the center of the chest for more than 20 minutes
pain or discomfort
lasting more than 20 minutes in other parts of the upper
body, including the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
including shortness of breath (feeling like you can't get
enough air), breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea (feeling
sick to your stomach), or feeling faint
Other symptoms women may
uneasy or worried)
If you have any
of these symptoms, call 911.
You have the power to
fight heart disease! Read on for some tips on keeping your heart
If you smoke, try to quit. For help along the way,
check out our
Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, most days of the week.
Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, walk
during breaks at work.
Eat heart-healthy foods.
Eat whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruit. Choose lean meats and low-fat cheese
and dairy products. Limit foods that have lots of saturated
fat, like butter, whole milk, baked goods, ice cream, fatty
meats, and cheese.
numbers. Ask your doctor to check your blood
pressure, cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides)
and blood glucose (sugar).
American Indian and Alaska Native Heart Disease and Stroke
Fact Sheet — This Web page lists facts and statistics
about heart disease and stroke among American Indians and
Alaska Natives. It also provides links to publications on
how to reduce your risk.
American Indian and Alaska Native People: Be Active for Your
Heart! — Heart disease is the leading cause of death for
American Indians and Alaska Natives. This Web site offers
insight about how to keep your heart healthy by staying
active and explains the benefits of staying active, ranging
from weight loss to strengthening your heart and lungs.
American Indian and Alaska Native People: Keep the Harmony
Within You — Check Your Blood Pressure! — Being aware of
your blood pressure is vital to preventing stroke, heart
disease, kidney disease, and blindness. The information in
this fact sheet includes tips on how to lower your blood
pressure through healthy eating and physical activity.
American Indian and Alaska Native People: Treat Your Heart
to a Healthy Celebration! — Proper nutrition is your way
to a healthy heart. This document provides insight on eating
the right kinds of foods to improve and maintain your
health. It offers a list of foods, as well as ways for
preparing them, to ensure healthy eating. Lean cut beef,
fish, corn, and rice are all tasty examples of a healthy
American Indian and Alaska Native Women's Health — This
site offers information for health service providers and
consumers about American Indian and Alaska Native women's
health. It discusses cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, substance
abuse, cardiovascular disease, and access to care.
Indian Health — This Web site is an information portal
to information about the health of native peoples of the
United States. The topics include cancer, diabetes, heart
disease, and environmental health.
Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke Among American Indians and
Alaska Natives — The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke
Among American Indians and Alaska Natives is the fourth in a
series of CDC atlases related to cardiovascular disease.
However, it is the first to focus on geographic patterns of
heart disease and stroke mortality and risk factors for a
specific racial/ethnic group in the United States. The Atlas
provides insights into the geographic disparities in heart
disease and stroke experienced by American Indians and
Fact Sheet — Heart Disease
— This publication shows why women should be aware of heart
disease. It also includes information about the signs of
heart disease, risk factors, how you can reduce your risk,
and the treatment for this disease.
Heart Disease and American Indians/Alaska Natives — This
Web page provides statistics about the incidence, risk
factors, and mortality rate of heart disease among American
Heart Truth for Women: An Action Plan — Good news! Heart
disease is a problem you can do something about. This fact
sheet will help you find out your personal risk of heart
disease. Then, it will show you how to take steps to improve
your heart health and reduce your chances of developing
5 Medication-free Strategies to Keep Your Heart Healthy
(Copyright © Mayo Clinic) — These five simple steps can
help you decrease the risk of developing heart disease.
These steps include lessening or stopping tobacco use,
maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising.
American Indians/Alaska Natives and Cardiovascular Diseases
— Statistics (Copyright © American Heart Association) —
This publication discusses factors behind the high incidence
of heart disease and stroke among American Indians and
Alaska Natives. It provides statistics on strokes, heart
disease, high blood pressure, and more.
Indian Health Service
Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, HHS
American Heart Association
National Coalition for Women With Heart Disease