Here are some facts about women health issues related to the heart so that you get a reality check on the situation.
Heart Disease Facts For Women:
- The plaque or the fats that clog arteries accumulate in clumps for men. For women on the contrary this distribution of fats is even. As a result men's arteries get clogged easily and they start showing symptoms by the time they are in their late 30s
- For women things are more complicated. Firstly, women are less prone to heart attacks because it takes long time for their arteries to get completely blocked. Moreover, women suffer from heart conditions much later in life than men. They are an average 10 years older than men when they get their first attack.
- So it is very likely for women to have heart diseases for many years and be blissfully unaware of it. What happens due to this non diagnosis of heart blockages is that women get a cardiac arrest one fine day and die immediately.
- Moreover the standard symptoms of heart attacks are absent in women most of the times. It is not like very heart attack victim will experience chest pain and fall down clutching his/her chest. Women experience atypical symptoms like nausea and back pain more often; they are unable to detect a heart attack themselves.
- A heart attack even in women does not strike unannounced but most often women don't pay heed to these symptoms. Unnatural fatigue and weakness, inability to walk short distances and shortness or breath, anxiety and sleeplessness may indicate that all is not well with your heart.
- Women after menopause have heart attacks very easily so they come under high risk category post 50. This is due to the drop in levels of estrogen hormone which keeps the arteries clean of plaque. All the diseases like breast cancer, uterus cancer and osteoporosis after menopause are well known but heart diseases are left out by women.
- Women are mentally stronger than men and are less likely to seek emergency medical help. We have this preset idea in our heads that heart attacks don't kill women and we adhere to it stubbornly. We have internalised this notion so strongly that we refuse to take medical help even when it is necessary.
Don't deny the possibility of a heart disease as a woman, be safe and heart healthy.
Story first published: Friday, September 30, 2011, 14:44 [IST]