4,500 women died last year from either a heart attack or stroke, making it the number one killer of women in Ireland, with women six times more likely to die from it than from breast cancer.
The Irish Heart Foundation has issued a red alert warning that it is not just a man’s disease, and women need to regularly check their blood pressure to make sure that they are not at risk.
59-year-old Bernadette Moore from Tallaght in Dublin was having the symptoms of a heart attack over 10 days in February this year. She said that she had a burning sensation in her chest, but ignored it thinking it was indigestion.
"I really thought it was indigestion, I said my doctor will give me something, Gaviscon or whatever, not realising it was a heart attack," said Bernadette Moore.
"I was on the floor because I got such a fright when it happened, when they told me I had a heart attack I really got scared."
"I thought, 'this couldn't be happening to me, I thought I had indigestion and now they're telling me I had a heart attack!' I was completely shocked. But it could have been a stroke, it could have been a lot worse," she said.
42-year-old mother of two from East Galway, Maura Canning discovered that her blood pressure was sky high at a random health check by the Irish Heart Foundation. She was later admitted to hospital.
"When I went in they could not believe it, they were looking up at the screen saying 'Oh my God,' I was 226/118 or 120. They couldn't understand how I had not gotten a stroke or a heart attack it was so, so high."
Heart disease and stroke are the number one killers of women in Ireland, and the Irish Heart Foundation has issued a red alert warning women to get their blood pressure checked regularly.