Heart Disease Symptoms, Risk Factors & Prevention in Women

Women and Heart Diseases

Women more prone towards heart diseases

It’s evident from the current global statistics that 17.3 million deaths occur because of heart diseases. According to WHO, number of cardiovascular deaths among women is 8.6 million, which includes 34% women from India only. The numbers have been increasing because today in order to compete in the professional world, women have been putting additional effort as they have dual responsibilities of managing home and work both. The increasing level of stress adds on to the numbers. Also, their gender specific hormones, estrogen and progesterone make them susceptible to heart diseases.

Heart Disease Symptoms, Risk Factors & Prevention in Women

How women can prevent themselves from cardiovascular diseases?

It is prudent not only for women but men as well to regularly go for preventive health checkups . This helps in picking diseases at their early stages.

However, here are a few basic precautionary measures that may help you in staying away to be caught by heart diseases.

Say NO to smoking: If you are a smoker, quit immediately. This nasty habit enhances your risk of heart diseases by boosting blood pressure and making blood more prone to clot, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Watch your belly fat: Balance the calories you consume with the calories you burn by physical activity. Keep an eye on your middle area. If you have a big belly, you are more likely to have fat in and around your abdominal organs, where it can affect the release of important hormones and other secretions required for proper digestion and other body functions.

Get active: Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

Cut back on salt: Keep your blood pressure at 120/80 mmHg or below. To attain this goal, slash sodium from your diet; as women age they become more salt-sensitive.

Avoid saturated and trans-fats: These fats can be found in packaged foods such as cookies and potato chips.

Eat colorful natural foods: Fruits and vegetables such as spinach, carrots, peaches and berries are high in antioxidants and fiber.

Lower your cholesterol: Women with high cholesterol levels are at a higher risk. It is important to maintain a diet low in fat to remain within the range.

Know your family history: It is important to know your family medical history, so that one becomes more cautious and remain alarmed for any abnormal symptoms that begin to appear and could be an indication to a heart disease.

Age to Begin Regular Checkups

It was years back when heart ailments were diagnosed between the age brackets of 50-60s. However, seeing the kind of crippled lifestyle being led by the youth and the mature population, it is important for the women to go in for her first preventive check-up at the age of 30.

Symptoms of Heart Disease

Symptoms commonly seen in women are:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the centre of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, 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 light-headedness

Pre-menopausal women & risk of heart disease

Diabetes is a common health problem today found in many women. And if a pre-menopausal woman is suffering from diabetes, then this ailment not only cancels out the protective effect of estrogen but also increases the risk of heart disease significantly. But this is only in case of diabetes. The main factor that has led to increase in the number of heart disease among pre-menopausal women is the level of stress that they go through in their daily life. Since the women of today are not only working outside like men but are also taking care of their household work.

The cardiovascular cases have increased in large number in women in the last few years. The current statistics state that there is a tremendous increase in the deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and 34% of them are Indian women. It has become imperative for every woman to undergo a regular health checkup.

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