Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. It is also the leading cause of death in the United States. While men are more often associated with the condition, it is undeniable that women are also nearly at risk.
Reality Check: Being A Woman Doesn’t Give You a Free Pass on This!
1. Women’s susceptibility to Cardiovascular Problems are Higher
Heart disease is a comprehensive term for a variety of cardiovascular issues and circulatory issues including coronary congenital heart disease, stroke, heart valve disease, cardiomyopathy, angina, and heart attack. Unfortunately, women are more likely to be prone to developing such conditions like coronary microvascular disease and broken heart syndrome.
2. Women’s Major Health Risk is High Blood Pressure.
High blood pressure refers to the extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, eventually, over time, this extra strain increases a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke
About 30 percent of women have high blood pressure, not a very alarming figure, is it? Premenopausal women are less likely than men of their age to have this problem, yet once they reach menopause, the tables start to turn. Dr. Stephen Sinatra, America’s leading integrative cardiologist stated that the reason is that women have smaller blood vessels and a higher tendency for diastolic dysfunction than men, making the lethal side effects of hypertension a much greater health risk. In addition to that pregnancy, menopause, and being overweight can also raise the risks.
3. Women’s Leading Cause of Death is Heart Disease
Although women generally tend to develop coronary heart disease about 10 years later than men, the fact that about 1 in 4 women in the U.S. dies from heart disease should not be dismissed. It has become the leading cause of mortality for both sexes.
Symptoms: What Women Should Watch Out For
It is actually more complicated for women since they have less obvious symptoms. Men may experience very evident indications of heart issues such chest pain or a radiating pain in the arms. It was in fact discovered that 64 percent of women who succumb to coronary heart disease have no prior complaints linking to unusual heart conditions. It might also be noted that women might be somewhat indifferent to the signs.
Moreover, women also have a vast range of symptoms that can be mistaken for something else. An example, nausea, and signs similar to reflux can be associated with simple indigestion. Yet, if you are knowledgeable on what to look for and do not dismiss the signs early prevention is possible.
Here’s the 12 list, in a decreasing order of incidence of reported symptoms experienced by women who have survived heart attacks;
Being lethargic or unusually tired
Having Trouble sleeping
Experiencing Shortness of breath
Feeling of indigestion or discomfort similar to acid reflux
Becoming more anxious
Racing pulse/heart rate
Sensing Heaviness or weakness in the arms
Acquiring Memory problems
Struggling with Vision problems
Tingling in the arms or hands
Breathing at night becomes troublesome.
Never expect a heart problem to announce itself with the characteristic pain in the chest.
The common complaint amongst women is a radiating discomfort or pain in the jaw, neck, abdomen, back, or throat before or during a heart attack. Though some but not all women may experience the presence of
discomfort high in the chest region. Others might not even experience any of these at all. 1 out of 8 reports of having an experience of chest pain, and even they characterize it as tightness, aching, or pressure rather than pain.
What are The Common Risk Factors For Women?
Lifestyle, habits and various medical conditions are some of the factors that could heighten your chances to having heart disease than other women. Here are some of the factors, most of which are preventable or controllable.
Many people neglect exercise due to a busy schedule.Some might justify light tasks to be sufficient physical activity when it’s not. On average, women tend to have higher levels of inactivity than men.13 Physical inactivity is among the top risk factors for heart disease.
Being overweight is related to numerous ailments it also raises your relative risk of heart disease. If you are on the heavy side, you are also more prone to hypertension, an arterial disease that could sneak up on you and shock your body to its core.
High blood pressure could lead to the enlargement and decrease heart pumps effectively than normal, eventually leading to heart failure if taken for granted. It also raises the chances of having a stroke or heart attack. Unfortunately, women are naturally more at risk to high blood pressure.
Non-diabetic women have three times less likely to experience a fatal coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to women with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, specifically is associated with a higher susceptibility to heart problems.
Bad news for lady smokers as it was discovered that women smokers have a higher risk for CAD than male smokers.
Prevention: It’s Always Better Safe Than Sorry
A keen monitoring through regular check-ups and a firm management over controllable risk factors are the best strategies to avoid an adverse cardiac event. There are methods you can administer by yourself to help you assess your condition conveniently.
Basic Heart Function Tests:
Dr. Sinatra understood that choosing a specific test to take can be confusing so he simplifies it for you: “From all the options available in the massive cardiologist toolbox to assess basic heart function, these are the tests I recommend:
Electrocardiogram (EKG), Echocardiogram, Exercise/Nuclear Stress Test, Holter Monitoring, and the BNP Test.
Blood Pressure Checks: Be cautious of your blood pressure. Make sure to get it checked often. If you have a hypertension problem, have it attended to as soon as possible.
HDL Triglyceride Level Tests: Get your triglyceride to HDL ratio tested, too. A high ratio indicates extensive risk of coronary heart disease. Higher HDL cholesterol and fewer triglycerides will give you a favorable ratio.
Tests For Diabetes:
An early treatment can limit the damage to your cardiovascular system in this case. Since there is the elevated heart disease risk associated with type 2 diabetes, it’s important to check if you are diabetic.
- Work on Managing Stress Efficiently
Yoga or meditation are some examples of alternative outlets for stress. You can also loosen up by chatting with a friend or taking a stroll around the park. If it can help clear your mind and give you peace, do it.
- Get Active
Target to at least spend 30 minutes to an hour exercising in a day. A desk job should not excuse you either; plan a routine to stay active even in the office. Walking a few minutes can do you so much good.
- Consider a Heart-Healthy Diet
Your best bets should be fresh produce, fiber, antioxidants, and inflammation-fighting foods.Go easy on refined carbohydrates, sugar, and processed food. Following an eating plan along the lines of a Mediterranean diet has great heart benefits.
- Lessen the Vices
The good news is red wine is actually What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Disease