While many people think heart disease is purely a man’s health problem, they are absolutely wrong. Women are also susceptible to getting a heart disease. In fact, records show that it is the top leading cause of death in women in the United States and more women than men die of heart disease annually. Compared to all cancers combined, heart disease kills more women ages 65 and above.
Knowing the Causes
The most common cause of heart disease in women is the narrowing or complete blockage of the coronary arteries, the main arteries that supply blood to the heart. While the disease may progress gradually, prevention is better than waiting for a heart attack. It is worthy to note that over 60 percent of women can no longer recover after experiencing heart attacks. Age is also a contributing factor in heart diseases in women. The older women become, the more likely they are capable of developing this disease. It does not mean, however, that only aging women should be concerned, women from all ages should take steps to help prevent having a heart disease. Having a healthy lifestyle is the best prevention.
Knowing the Symptoms
As with any illness, heart disease in women also has its own symptoms.. The most common is pressure on the chest that causes difficulty in breathing. Unlike men, this symptom not prominent in women with heart disease. In contrast to the usual chest crushing pain in men, more subtle symptoms are experienced by women because of the tendency to have blockages not just in the main arteries but also in the other smaller arteries that likewise pump blood into the heart. Other signs and symptoms in women are as follows:
�Abdominal, neck, shoulder or upper back discomfort
�Dizziness or lightheadedness
�Nausea or vomiting
�Shortness of breath
Knowing the Factors Contributing to Risk
�High Triglyceride Levels. High triglyceride level means high cholesterol. Triglyceride is fat in the body. The more of this body fat you have, the more likely it is that these fats would block blood passage into the heart.
�Excessive Alcohol. Low level of alcohol intake is said to mean lower risk of heart diseases than in those women who are excessive drinkers and non-drinkers as well. It is not, however, recommended for the non-drinkers to begin drinking alcohol. Alcohol can possibly contribute to a woman’s obesity, which will increase their triglyceride levels and raise their blood pressure; increasing their risk of having heart attacks or stroke.
Individual Reaction to Stress
Women may respond and react to stress in various ways. Unhealthy reaction to stress leads women to exhibit unlikely behavior like binge eating and smoking.Both can lead to heart disease.
Every woman is vulnerable to heart disease. Understanding the symptoms and knowing the risk factors may help protect against the leading cause of death in women. Fortunately, avoiding the causes and knowing the important symptoms may decrease their risk of having heart disease.