Many people, when they hear the term “heart disease”, easily think that it’s a man’s disease. But, the truth of the matter is, heart disease affects women the way it affects men. It’s not just a man’s thing. In fact, heart disease is considered throughout the world as the number one killer of women.
That is a scary thought!
It has been reported that women are four to six times more likely to suffer and die from heart disease than of breast cancer. Also, several statistics have shown that heart disease in women occurs specifically among those who are more than 65 years old.
Well, there is no concrete evidence to explain why heart disease occurs in women more than it occurs in men. Experts don’t even precisely understand why women have lesser chances of survival than men do. The reasons are not really well understood. But, many experts have linked certain facts to it that encouraged them to say that heart disease in women is so serious that one in two women will die of such disease compared with one in twenty-five women who will suffer and die of breast cancer.
One of the biggest reasons that experts have thought of is that women tend to obtain heart disease for about 10 years later in life compared with men. Aside from that, the women’s heart is so fragile that they are more prone to some kinds of chronic conditions, like heart disease. There are also other experts who say that heart disease in women occur in a great number because women are not as aggressive as men in diagnosing or treating their conditions. They don’t seek for treatments and medication, or they just tend to ignore the situation thinking that it will soon heal. It was also observed that heart disease in women is very common because women have smaller hearts and their blood vessels are more prone to damage. Because of this condition, it would also follow that the symptoms of heart disease in women may appear very different from that of men.
Whatever the real reason is, heart disease in women is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Women should do something about it, and it’s nice to know that there are ways you can do to prevent heart disease from developing. Perhaps one of the wisest moves to take is to change your lifestyle into something that is heart-healthy. If you smoke, quit from it. Or, if you drink alcohol in excessive amount, then stop and avoid it. Changing these habits might be difficult to do, but there’s nothing impossible with women, right? If men can quit smoking and alcohol drinking, women can also do it. It’s just a matter of determination and self-discipline.
- Quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start!
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet
- Manage your stress
- Limit alcohol
- Follow your treatment plan if one is prescribed by your doctor
- Manage other health conditions
Something helpful to know- is how to detect a stroke, for any gender!
The American Heart Association lists the common symptoms below to be aware of,
If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away!
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Men and women alike all need to be aware of the dangers of heart disease. Be safe!