The majority of people believe that heart disease mostly affects males. Nevertheless, it is the biggest reason for death among women. Heart disease affects all ages and races of women.
Since some heart disease symptoms in women may differ from those in males. However, women may be unaware of what to look for.
Women and persons designated as female at birth (DFAB) are especially affected by cardiovascular disease. Men and women appear to suffer cardiovascular disease differently due to sex differences in anatomy, red blood cell count, and hormone levels.
This article discusses the symptoms, hazards, changes in lifestyle & precautions necessary for women with heart disease.
Heart Disease Symptoms in Women
The most frequent heart attack symptoms in women are the same as in men. Some chest pain, tightness, or discomfort that lasts for more than a few minutes or fluctuates.
However, chest discomfort is not usually severe or even the most obvious symptom, especially in females. Women often describe heart attack symptoms as pressure or tightness. Additionally, a heart attack can occur without chest discomfort.
Women are more prone than males to experience non-chest-related heart attack symptoms, such as:
- pain in the neck, jaw, shoulders, upper back, or abdominal region
- difficulty breathing
- discomfort in one or both arms
- sickness or vomiting
- lightheadedness and dizziness
- unusual tiredness
These symptoms may be nonspecific and less obvious than the crushing chest pain that is typically linked with heart attacks.
However, this may be because women tend to have blockages not just in their major arteries, but also in the tiny arteries that feed blood to the heart. This is a condition known as small vessel heart disease or coronary microvascular disease.
Women are more likely than men to have symptoms during rest or even sleep. Emotional stress may hasten the development of heart attack symptoms.
As women’s heart attack symptoms may differ from men’s, women may be diagnosed with heart disease less frequently than males. Women are more likely than males to suffer a heart attack without a major arterial blockage (nonobstructive coronary artery disease).
Heart Disease Risk Factors in Women
Multiple traditional coronary artery disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, impact both men and women. However, other variables may have a greater influence on the development of cardiovascular disease in women.
Among the risk factors for heart disease in women are:
Women with diabetes are more likely than males with diabetes to acquire the cardiovascular disease. Since diabetes can alter the way women experience pain, there is an increased chance of experiencing a silent heart attack – one without any symptoms.
- Psychological Stress and Depression
Stress and depression have a greater impact on women’s hearts than men’s. Depression may make it challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle and adhere to treatment recommendations for other health concerns.
Women are more susceptible to cardiac disease due to smoking than males.
Low amounts of physical activity are a major contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease.
After menopause, low levels of oestrogen increase the chance of developing illness in smaller blood arteries.
- Pregnancy Problems
High blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy can raise the long-term risk of hypertension and diabetes in the mother. These disorders also increase the risk of heart disease in women.
- Family History
A family history of heart disease appears to be a risk factor that affects women more than males.
- Inflammatory Conditions
Inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and others may raise the risk of heart disease in both men and women.
Women under the age of 65, particularly those with a family history of heart disease, must also pay strict attention to the risk factors for heart disease.
Treatment for Women with Heart Disease
For the most part, cardiovascular treatment for women and men is the same. The treatment options range from pharmaceuticals to angioplasty and stent placement to open heart surgery.
The following are some of how the treatment of heart disease in men and women differs:
- Aspirin and statins are prescribed for the prevention of heart attacks less frequently for women than for males. However, research shows that the advantages accrue to both categories. You can easily get the necessary heart medication online.
- It is speculated that women have lower rates of obstructive disease or smaller arteries with more small vessel disease. Both of these contribute to the lower rates of coronary bypass surgery among women compared to males.
- Recovery from heart disease is facilitated by cardiac rehabilitation, which also boosts overall health. Despite the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation, female patients are referred to the programme at a lower rate than male patients.
Reduce your chances of developing heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Incorporate these heart-friendly habits into your daily routine:
- Stop Smoking
Please don’t start smoking if you don’t. Secondhand smoking is likewise harmful to blood vessels and should be avoided.
- Take Care of Your Body By Having a Balanced Diet
Eat more fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and lean proteins. Keep away from foods heavy in salt, sugar, and saturated/trans fats.
- Do Physical Activity and Try to Keep the Weight Down
Losing even a small amount of weight can reduce the danger of cardiovascular disease if you are overweight. Find out what your ideal weight should be by seeing your doctor.
- Overcome Anxiety
Constricting arteries due to stress is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and, in particular, coronary microvascular disease. Some strategies for managing stress include increasing physical activity, adopting a more attentive mindset, and joining a support group.
- Try Not to Drink at All or at Least Cut-Back
Drinking alcohol should be done so with moderation. Women can have up to one drink per day and males can have up to two drinks per day and still be considered healthy adults.
- Always Stick to Your Prescribed Course of Action
Medications, such as those for blood pressure, bleeding, and pain, should be taken exactly as recommended.
- Handle Your Existing Medical Issues as Well
A person’s chance of developing heart disease increases when they have hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
When to See a Doctor
It’s important to talk to your doctor about your cardiovascular health at any time. If you’re worried about developing heart disease, it’s in your best interest to consult a doctor about reducing your risk.
Moreover, it’s crucial to tell your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing, as heart disease can manifest in various ways.
Signs of heart disease, such as weariness, indigestion, and shortness of breath, are often overlooked because they seem so minor. However, because a heart attack can occur rapidly, it is crucial not to disregard any potential warning signals.
Consult a medical professional if you have any of the following symptoms of heart disease, especially if you also have risk factors.
Many people underestimate how frequent cardiovascular disease is among females. In fact, it accounts for a disproportionate share of women’s death.
There are often no warning signs in women with heart disease. Get in touch with your doctor early on to discuss your risk for cardiovascular disease and strategies for mitigating that risk.
If you have any of these symptoms, don’t wait to see a doctor; early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease can prevent more harm.