JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The American Heart Association is raising awareness for heart disease and stroke in women. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. but doctors said 80 percent deaths are preventable.

Dr. Myrna Alexander-Nickens, a cardiologist and a chairperson of the Women Heart Clinician, said women in the African American community tend to have issues with heart disease.

“Over the past several decades, there is a lack of exercise, there is an increase amount of diabetes and hypertension in Black women. Our health department has kept good data on that and the trend, and we believe that some of this can be turned around if there are changes in what we do,” said Dr. Alexander-Nickens.

According to statistics, 1-in-3 women will have a heart attack. Dr. Alexzander-Nickens said even through the pandemic, women have died more than men from it, specifically in Mississippi.

“When I look at the graphs, there are more African American women dying from COVID than the general population,” she said.

Dr. Alexander-Nickens also encourages households to obtain a blood pressure cup in order to keep track of daily blood pressure.