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Key Facts About Women and Heart Disease

Women and Heart Disease; lower the risk know the facts

More than any other lethal combination researchers have looked at, women and heart disease have resulted in a higher percentage of deaths among women than breast and cervical cancer combined.   For reasons yet unknown, women appear to be at greater risk of heart disease than men, outranking the incidence by a 2 to 1 ratio.  Long overlooked by researchers as the subjects of heart disease studies, women also often died as a result of their physicians' lack of insight in diagnosing females.  Finally that is changing.  Knowing the facts about women and heart disease can literally mean the difference between life and death.


Women and Heart Disease Prevention

Women are more prone to CHD or Chronic Heart Disease than men.  It is believed that physical and emotional considerations are at work.  Simply put,  women working ot overcome CHD (chronic heart disease) overall appear to suffer from a higher number of pre-existing contributing problems than men.  Some of the more common emotional and mental factors suspected of putting women at greater risk for CHD include depression, stress, smoking, drinking and dieting.

Men, on the other hand, do experience these same mental stresses but at signigicantly lower rates than women.  Men rarely suffer from eating disorders or from the stressors of yo-yo dieting.  But it's not uncommon to find a majority of any given audience of women expressing dissatisfaction with their weight and that in itself is an indication of an area of life that contributes stress.  The dieting itself puts undue strain on the body and the heart.  Some doctors go as far as to suggest that women may serve their systems better to maintain a somewhat overweight but healthy stance than to be constantly losing and gaining weight, putting stress on all bodily systems.

Some researchers correlate a woman's obsession with dieting to a man's obsession with body building and weight lifting regimins undertaken to add bulk and body weight, including the use of hormones and steroids.  Yet women developing heart disease outrank men 5:1.

Since studies have followed women with heart disease there has been a steady increase in their numbers over men with the same condition. That and the fact that men with heart disease have a stronger recovery and survival rate once diagnosed.  Obviously it is urgent for women of all ages to become familiar with and involved in preventative measures defying the odds.f

We do know that women diagnosed with heart disease are diagnosed much later in the gestational prognosis of the disease than men.  This could be due to a number of causes.  It may be that a woman who complains of chest pains is unfortunately further along in the progression of CHD than a man with the same severity of pain. Or it could mean that women have higher pain thresholds, do not complain early on enough, or are ignored by their doctors when they do bring up symptoms.  Some studies have have indicated that historically predominantly male doctors did not take predominantly female patient symptoms as seriously as they took a male patient's symptoms.  Hopefully this is changing.

What complicates the situation even more is doctors fail to perform routine cardio-related checkups on women specifically for cardio work ups such as an EKG or ECG to check heart conditions unless there's a pre-existing heart problem or strong hereditary factors are present. Neither are they prone to offer the same preventative care to women in regards to heart disease as they do to men.  This can be expected to have a major impact on the survival rate of women with heart disease. Women need to become more proactive with their physicians and demand a higher

Researchers say, this is because heart disease in women is asymptomatic in the earlier stages than in men and this most often leads to late diagnosis's in women which is one of reasons why the recovery and survival rate are much lower.  It is reported that women experience the same symptoms as men experience when suffering from heart disease, but women's heart disease symptoms are less noticeable in the early stages than men.

Researchers urge women to get the hard facts about heart disease and women by talking to their physician about specific risk factors, requesting a routine EKG or ECG or other cardio diagnostic testing when more than one risk factor are present, and researching information online and at a local library to find out ways to reduce the risk of CHD in women.  Become familiar with common risk factors that put women in danger of heart disease or CHD.

  • Family history of heart disease impacts the risks of women having heart disease, since more women are born susceptible to heart disease than men.
  • Obesity plays a very big role in men and women chances of having CHD, but women have other health issues that increase their risk considerably such as over or underactive thyroid glands, which regulate metabolism and hormonal uptake.
  • Poor eating habits and eating food high in cholesterol, which causes weight gain, clogs arteries and restricts blood flow leads to CHD or Strokes at a higher rate than. And although these health issues are present in men, women are more likely to increase this risk factor when poor eating habits co-exist with mental concerns such as depression or stress.
  • No physical activity. Increasing physical activity could reduce obesity, promotes healthier eating habits and increases functionality of proper circulation.
  • Demographic factors like such as race, age and certain lifestyle elements can increase the risk of CHD in women
  • Taking precautions by asking the physician questions about the risk of heart disease in women when taking hormonal therapy for post menopausal women over 55 years old and birth control links to young women with heart disease.
  • CHD in women is also increased by the variances in diet medication women take or strenuous weight lost programs.

Remember women don't show the same early signs of heart failure as men do, so talk openly to a doctor and by all means push the issue, research more information on heart disease factors and women online or at a public library and get a clearer picture of the potential risks of heart disease.

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