Over the past 10 years, heart disease in women — especially young women — has been on the rise. More deaths than men die of heart disease each year. Yet the diagnosis and treatment for women is often delayed and often undetected.
“Heart disease is the number one killer of women,” said Nisha Jhalani, MD, a cardiovascular disease specialist in the College of Physicians and Physicians Vagelos. “However, studies and interviews with patients have taught us that most women are not able to identify the risk factors for heart disease and are unaware of the risk factors for heart disease themselves.”
Worse, guidelines for treating heart disease came from research conducted in the 1990s almost exclusively in men. Even today about 30% of reading subjects are women.
This is especially troubling because the symptoms of women are different. Men are more likely to get traditional breast cancer. Women are more likely to experience symptoms that include symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue. Combined with guidelines designed for men, this can lead to misdiagnosis in women, or misdiagnosis, with women’s heart disease often classified as pregnancy problems or anxiety.
Women also frequently ignore their signs either because of resentment, shame, or embarrassment. “Delaying anything that is considered serious can be life threatening,” Jhalani said.
“Heart disease in women is not the same as men’s heart disease,” she said. “There is something different in a woman’s heart and a man’s heart.”
The good news is that 90% of heart disease can be prevented with the choice of a healthier lifestyle. “Thus one can control one’s mental health,” Jhalani said. “Nutrition options, increased exercise, better sleep habits, quitting smoking, and regular appointments with your doctor put the power back in the patient’s hands.”
Jhalani said women should also work to reduce stress, especially in times of crisis such as disaster and stress. Research is being done to determine the exact link between stress and heart disease. Now, know that stress is not good for the heart.
The risk of heart disease is higher for people with autoimmune diseases and gastrointestinal issues, such as gastroenteritis and preeclampsia. Surprisingly, according to Jhalani, about 10 percent of women diagnosed with congenital heart disease have visited a doctor, let alone a cardiologist, about the condition. In Columbia, cardiologists work with OB / GYNs to ensure observation of symptoms developing in the abdomen.
To take care of yourself and your loved ones, Jhalani said: Go to the doctor. See Tracking. Encourage your loved ones to do the same.
hintHeart disease in women is not the same as heart disease in men (2022, March 1) Retrieved 1 March 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-03-heart-heart-women-pages.html
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