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You may be surprised to learn that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States.  It is also a leading cause of disability for women.   As women age, their risk of heart trouble increases; there is a strong link between menopause and heart disease.  When women are young, they have large amounts of estrogen, which is a hormone that helps to protect the heart.  With estrogen levels depleted, older women have more cardiac disease, heart attacks, and strokes than men.