Women And Heart Disease.

Geeta Rao By Geeta Rao, 10th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Women's Health

Generally it is believed that heart care is not an area of concern for women since they do not face stress in life and also their hormones protect them. We often find very few percentage of women in India visiting cardiologists for regular check ups even if they have reached their mid- life until they actually become victims of some cardiac condition.

Why Women Ignore their Heart?

Women are equally prone to heart attacks as men is what studies reveal and more than 3 million women round the world die due to heart related problems. Though the figure is alarming then why do women lag behind in their cardiac care? There is a deficit in HDL or good cholesterol levels in both men and women in India. The death rate due to heart disease is very high among women mainly due to lack of awareness about it's fatality and different manifestations of the disease. Research highlights that men and women have the same risk factors but often women ignore heart health. Symptoms like extreme fatigue or breathlessness while climbing stairs and mild chest pain are not investigated until it proves fatal
Heart ailment among premenopausal women is on the rise. The reasons are linked to lifestyle factors, stress and lack of exercise. Diet also plays a vital role in heart care. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian food it should be correct and moderate in consumption. Young working Indian women under the influence of western culture have cultivated the habit of smoking and alcohol consumption. Smoking is also responsible for the development of cardiovascular heart disease in today's young Indian women. Nearly 5% of men and women between the age group of 20- 40 yrs suffer from heart ailment
Whereas 17% of men and women between the age group of 40- 50 yrs are hit by heart disease.
Indian women have elevated levels of an amino acid called homocysteine which reduces HDL good cholesterol and narrows blood vessels. However, latest studies say that homocysteine is no longer a risk factor. Women are also highly susceptible to heart disease. Women have risk factors such like stroke and hypertension during pregnancy, hormone therapy and old age. Women who are at a high risk zone for heart disease are those with an established heart disease, chronic renal problem , diabetes and high blood pressure. Besides, we also have elevated lipid level, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy complications which can lead to cardio vascular disease in women.
An awareness about cardio metabolic syndrome should be created in women about the fatality of the disease and also preventive measures and drug therapy. Coronary heart disease not only causes mortality in men but also women. Women are to some extent protected by estrogen action against heart disease in their premenopausal life. But, one third of a women's life is spent in the post menopausal period where chances of developing CVD is on the rise. Women are on a average 10yrs older than their male counterparts when they develop heart disease.
Women develop hypertension mainly after crossing 45yrs of age. Systolic pressure is a common factor in their mid life. Rise in cholesterol level takes place around 55 to 65yrs of age perhaps a decade older than men. They develop obesity after 45yrs of age, Women are at a high risk of CVD who have central obesity because of the concomitance of other risk factors or co-morbidities which are very often present in obese women. Central obesity is common among women than men with CHD and CHD mortality due to diabetes is higher in women than men.
Women can prevent cardiac problem by maintaining their fitness level. Women in their 2o's can exercise up to 6 days a week and can include jogging, vigorous walking, cycling and weight training. In their 30's women should concentrate on abdominal strengthening workouts. As they reach their 40's their metabolism slows down and muscle mass begins to decrease. Weight training is preferred to increase bone density, muscles, connective tissues. It will help in the prevention of osteoporosis. After 50 it is the post menopausal period and symptoms like insomnia, hypertension, hot flashes and stress develops in them. After the onset of menopause exercise such as walking and yoga helps to reduce these symptoms. In the 60's exercise and yoga to improve flexibility and balance is important along with strengthening of bones, muscles and tissues. In 70's improving balance and preventing fall is important.
The most preferred drug in the world to lower elevated cholesterol is statin. It helps to reduce heart attack and stroke. But, high doses and long term use affects memory. It causes not only cognitive difficulties but also diabetes and muscle pain.


Heart, Heart Attacks, Womens Health

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author avatar Geeta Rao
I have a passion for writing articles. I mostly write on health and wellness and religion.

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author avatar Sherri Granato
15th Apr 2015 (#)

I have become more aware of heart disease over the last decade. The warnings and reminders from great writers like you is helpful. Great piece.

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