Women and Heart Disease: The Most Diagnosed States

West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana have the highest percentages of women with heart disease in the nation. Utah, Alaska and Hawaii women are least likely to be diagnosed

When it comes to heart disease, the #1 killer of women in America, we can all learn something from Utah. Women here have the lowest rate of heart disease and high blood pressure in the country. And they’re second only to Minnesota for the lowest rate of high cholesterol among women. Colorado women are also taking care of their tickers, ranking among the top five healthiest states in all three categories.

For some Southern states, it’s a completely different story. Women in West Virginia and Kentucky aren’t faring well when it comes to heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They are in the bottom five -- as in among the five least heart healthy states for women. Mississippi women have the highest high cholesterol and blood pressure in the country. Louisiana women also need to take control of their heart health. They are among the states with the highest rates of heart disease and high blood pressure.

Why this is is so critically important? High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure is considered a “silent killer” because it has no symptoms yet can damage your arteries and lead to a heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, vision and memory, fluid in the lungs, angina or peripheral artery disease. And when plaque builds up in your arteries, the resulting heart disease puts you at increased risk of a heart attack. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, lack of physical activity and being overweight all increase a woman’s heart disease risk.

Another scary fact: Heart disease is deadlier than all forms of cancer, says The American Heart Association.

Here’s how the states rank when it comes to the percentage of women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. Remember, #1 is the healthiest state, while #50 is the least healthy.

Heart Disease

Rank State %
1 Utah 1.8
2 Alaska 1.9
2 Hawaii 1.9
4 Colorado 2
5 New Hampshire 2.2
6 Connecticut 2.3
6 Montana 2.3
8 Maryland 2.5
8 New Mexico 2.5
8 North Dakota 2.5
11 Georgia 2.6
12 Arizona 2.7
12 Idaho 2.7
12 Oregon 2.7
12 Washington 2.7
12 Wyoming 2.7
17 California 2.8
17 Minnesota 2.8
17 New Jersey 2.8
17 Vermont 2.8
17 Virginia 2.8
22 Delaware 2.9
22 Iowa 2.9
22 Massachusetts 2.9
22 Nebraska 2.9
26 South Dakota 3
27 Illinois 3.2
27 Kansas 3.2
27 Texas 3.2
27 Wisconsin 3.2
31 Missouri 3.3
31 Nevada 3.3
31 New York 3.3
31 Ohio 3.3
35 Florida 3.4
35 North Carolina 3.4
35 Rhode Island 3.4
38 Mississippi 3.5
38 South Carolina 3.5
40 Indiana 3.6
40 Maine 3.6
42 Alabama 3.7
43 Arkansas 3.8
43 Pennsylvania 3.8
45 Michigan 3.9
46 Tennessee 4.2
47 Oklahoma 4.3
48 Louisiana 4.4
49 Kentucky 5.1
50 West Virginia 6.5

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevnetion, 2009


High Cholesterol

Rank State %
1 Minnesota 31.4
2 Utah 31.6
3 Tennessee 31.9
4 Massachusetts 32.4
5 Colorado 33
6 Oregon 33.6
7 Vermont 33.7
7 Virginia 33.7
9 Alaska 33.8
10 New Mexico 33.9
11 Rhode Island 34
12 California 34
12 North Dakota 34
14 New Jersey 34.3
15 Connecticut 34.4
16 Maryland 34.5
17 Georgia 34.7
17 South Dakota 34.7
17 Wisconsin 34.7
20 Montana 35
21 Nebraska 35.3
22 Nevada 35.6
23 Iowa 35.7
24 Maine 36.1
25 Idaho 36.2
25 Illinois 36.2
27 Hawaii 36.3
28 Wyoming 36.4
29 Michigan 36.5
30 Washington 36.6
31 Louisiana 36.7
32 Ohio 36.8
33 Delaware 36.9
34 Missouri 37.1
35 Arizona 37.4
35 Kansas 37.4
35 New Hampshire 37.4
38 Arkansas 37.9
38 Pennsylvania 37.9
40 Florida 38
41 New York 38.5
41 North Carolina 38.5
43 Texas 38.7
44 Alabama 39
45 Indiana 39.1
46 Oklahoma 39.3
47 West Virginia 39.6
48 South Carolina 39.9
49 Kentucky 41
50 Mississippi 41.2

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009

 

High Blood Pressure

Rank State %
1 Utah 20.3
2 Colorado 20.7
3 Minnesota 21
4 Wyoming 23.7
5 Arizona 24.2
6 Idaho 25.2
7 Vermont 24.4
8 California 24.7
8 Massachusetts 24.7
8 Oregon 24.7
11 New Mexico 24.9
12 Alaska 25.1
13 Nevada 25.2
14 Nebraska 25.3
15 Montana 25.7
16 North Dakota 25.8
16 Virginia 25.8
16 Washington 25.8
19 Connecticut 25.9
20 New Hampshire 26.1
21 Iowa 27.2
21 New Jersey 27.2
23 Delaware 27.5
24 New York 27.6
25 Michigan 27.8
26 Illinois 28.1
27 Maryland 28.2
28 Kansas 28.4
29 Rhode Island 28.6
29 South Dakota 28.6
29 Wisconsin 28.6
32 Maine 28.7
33 Texas 29.4
34 Indiana 29.6
35 Hawaii 30.1
35 Missouri 30.1
37 Georgia 30.2
38 Ohio 30.4
39 Florida 30.5
40 Pennsylvania 30.6
41 North Carolina 31.4
42 South Carolina 31.7
43 Arkansas 32.4
44 Tennessee 33.5
45 Oklahoma 33.8
46 Kentucky 34.8
47 Louisiana 35.5
48 West Virginia 36.3
49 Alabama 36.6
50 Mississippi 38.9

Source: Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention 2009

 

See the State of Women methodology and sources.

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