Men and women in the United States have approximately the same amount of risk when it comes to heart attacks, as of 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, approximately 1 out of 4 deaths for men and women are attributed to heart disease.
Many women do not have symptoms leading up to a heart attack, and only 54 percent of women are aware that heart disease is the number one killer of females, notes the CDC. For women, some signs of heart attack include pain in the upper body or back, nausea and heartburn. Although roughly the same amount of deaths are caused by heart attacks in men and women, 70 to 89 percent of sudden cardiac deaths occur in men. In half of these sudden deaths, the men had no previous symptoms.