"Young women with multiple risk factors and a strong family history of cardiac disease should not assume they are too young to have a heart attack," said lead researcher Judith Lichtman, associate professor at Yale School of Public Health.

The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with young women and found that patients inaccurately assessed their personal risk of heart disease.

Each year, in the United States alone, more than 15,000 women under the age of 55 die from heart disease, ranking it as a leading cause of death for this age group, the researchers noted.

The study appeared in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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