For Women: Take This Risk to Heart Women often perceive heart disease as an older person's disease that need not concern them until menopause. Heart Attacks and Women For many women, a heart attack may feel like a strange discomfort in the back or some other easily ignored sign, instead of crushing chest pain. A Woman's Guide to Beating Heart Disease Surveys show fewer than one in 10 women perceive heart disease as their greatest health threat. But it's the nation's number one killer, and women are its prime target. Making Your Lifestyle Heart-Healthy The millions of Americans diagnosed with heart and cardiovascular diseases can benefit from making healthy choices in their day-to-day lives. Heart Attack A heart attack occurs when the blood supply is cut off from the heart muscle, usually because of a blood clot. Without blood and oxygen, the muscle cells are damaged and die.