Ask most women what they consider their most serious health threat and the answer is likely to be cancer, especially breast cancer. In fact, in a survey conducted by National Center of Health Statistics, 65 percent of women said cancer was their most serious health threat.

The reality is that nearly six times as many women die annually from heart attacks as from breast cancer. And nearly two-thirds of the deaths from heart attacks in women occur among those who have no history of chest pain. For most, the first warning sign of a heart attack is a sudden onset of extreme weakness that feels like the flu.

And there are many other differences in heart disease in women than men, which Dr. Dennis DeSilvery, a cardiologist for more than 30 years, will talk about in a forum titled, “Heart Disease for Men and Women: The Similarities and the Differences.”

The forum is set for Thursday, April 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Waldo County General Hospital’s Education Center.

Find out why:

• women wait longer than men to go to an emergency room when having a heart attack. And once there, heart attacks in women are more difficult to diagnose;

• one-and-half-times more women die than men within one year after suffering a heart attack;

• men’s plaque distributes in clumps whereas women’s distributes more evenly throughout artery walls, which can be misinterpreted; and

• diabetes doubles the risk of a second heart attack in women but not in men.