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Heart disease in women

Mother Nature plays no favorites when it comes to heart disease

Heart disease can strike anyone, anytime. In fact, heart disease in women is the leading cause of death of American females and kills 32% of them. Eight million women in the US are currently living with heart disease.

Heart disease in women - do you know of a prominent or inspirational woman (living or dead) who has battled heart disease? Let us know!

Following are some examples of heart disease in women - prominent women.

heart disease in women - rue mcclanahanRue McClanahan, best known for her role as Blanche on the TV series "The Golden Girls" had emergency heart bypass surgery in New York City in November 2009. Doctors discovered the acute cardiac illness while 75-year-old performer was undergoing tests before a knee operation.

Rue McClanahan has had an illustrious career both off-Broadway and on television. She performed extensively off-Broadway before landing her television role as Vivian, Maude's best friend in the 1970s sitcom Maude. She later gained iconic status for her role as sex-crazed Blanche Devereaux on NBC's The Golden Girls which ran from 1985 to 1992 and for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1987.

Rue McClanahan is expected to make a full recovery.

heart disease in women - elizabeth taylorElizabeth Taylor, born February 27, 1932 is known for her acting skills and beauty, as well as her many marriages.

She started as a child actor, becoming famous for her role in National Velvet. In 1963, Taylor became the highest paid movie star up until that time when she was paid US$1 million to play the title role in Cleopatra for 20th Century Fox.

Over the years, Taylor has devoted much time and energy to AIDS charities, helping start the American Foundation for AIDS Research and creating the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. By 1999, she had helped raise an estimated US$50 million to fight AIDS.

She has broken her back five times, had both hips replaced, survived a benign brain tumor operation, skin cancer, has faced life-threatening bouts with pneumonia, and has survived multiple divorces.

And she is battling heart disease.

In November 2004, Elizabeth Taylor announced that she had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a progressive condition in which the heart is unable to circulate enough blood to meet the body's requirements.

In October 2009, Elizabeth Taylor told the world that she was scheduled to have a procedure done to repair a leaky valve via a clip device, making her heart function better. This procedure was successfully performed without open heart surgery.

In November and December 2008, two prominent female entertainers and civil rights activists died from heart disease.

Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba was born March 4, 1932 in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1966, Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording together with Harry Belafonte for An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba. The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid. Makeba was often referred to as Mama Africa.

She was married to Hugh Masekela and subsequently to Stokely Carmichael. She separated from Carmichael in 1973, and continued to perform primarily in Africa, South America and Europe. After the death of her only daughter in 1985, she moved to Brussels. In 1987, she appeared in Paul Simon's Graceland tour.

Nelson Mandela persuaded her to return to South Africa in 1990. On November 9, 2008, she became ill while taking part in a concert near Caserta, Italy. Makeba suffered a heart attack after singing her hit song "Pata Pata", and was taken to the Pineta Grande clinic where doctors were unable to revive her. She was 76.

OdettaOdetta, the folk singer died December 2 of heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital. She was admitted to the hospital with kidney failure about three weeks previously

Born Odetta Holmes in Birmingham, Ala., in 1930, she moved with her family to Los Angeles at age 6.

Odetta was active in the civil rights movement. She sang at the march on Washington in August 1963.

She was nominated for a 1963 Grammy awards for best folk recording for "Odetta Sings Folk Songs." Two more Grammy nominations came in recent years, for her 1999 "Blues Everywhere I Go" and her 2005 album "Gonna Let It Shine."

Odetta's last big concert was on Oct. 4 at San Francisco's Golden State Park, where she performed in front of tens of thousands at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. She also performed Oct. 25-26 in Toronto.

Odetta is survived by a daughter and a son. She was 77.

Heart disease in women - do you know of a prominent woman (living or dead) who has battled heart disease? Let us know!

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