Cardiovascular disease is considered to be the leading cause of death worldwide. It is estimated that 1 in 4 female deaths is due to heart disease. The most startling part is that about two-thirds of women who die suddenly due to a cardiovascular disease never suffered from any prior symptoms. Most cardiovascular disease-related deaths happen due to the lack of timely intervention. The only way to stay protected is by having the right awareness about the risk factors, symptoms and management of a heart disease.1
Risk Factors Of Heart Disease
Below are the common and major risk factors of heart disease amongst women.2
- Increasing age
- High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides
- Chronic alcoholism
- High blood pressure
- Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
- Excessive body fat
- Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle
6 Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack
Barring a few minor differences, the symptoms of a heart attack are similar amongst men and women. Unfortunately, many women often allow their health to take a backseat. Despite the initial warning signs, many women tend to shrug it off like it isn’t much of a big deal. Check out the 6 symptoms of a heart attack below and seek immediate medical attention as soon as you notice them.3
- A feeling of fullness or pressure in the center of the chest that lasts for a few minutes to some hours
- Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Breathlessness with or without chest discomfort
- Cold sweat
Women are more prone to experience breathlessness, pain in the jaws and nausea with dizziness while they suffer a heart attack. Angina is more commonly reported in men suffering from a heart attack.
7 Ways To Keep Your Heart Healthy
The human heart is a relentless organ that works round-the-clock, 24/7. But, many of us take the heart for granted and pay no attention to its well-being. Heart disease is a preventable disease and here are the 7 simple lifestyle modifications you need to adopt to keep it at bay.4
1. Kick The Cigarette Butt
Quit smoking as long-term studies have proven that smokers are more likely to have a heart attack compared to non-smokers.5
2. Follow A Heart Healthy Diet
Follow a healthy diet with lots of fruits vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins for essential vitamins and minerals. Keep your bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels low and good cholesterol levels high. Avoid foods rich in trans fats and saturated fats.
3. Make Physical Activity A Must
Make time daily for at least 45 minutes of exercise that gets your heart racing. Just a good diet won’t keep fat deposition away from your arteries, you have to follow an active lifestyle too.
4. Maintain Blood Sugar And Pressure Levels
Maintain your blood pressure and sugar levels within normal limits with diet regulation and exercise. You are more likely to suffer a heart attack if you’ve uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension.
5. Shed Excess Flab
Being overweight or obese puts you at risk of developing hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and heart disease.
6. Make Relaxation Techniques A Routine
Stress is directly linked to heart disease but the only way to prevent it from affecting you is by learning how to combat it better. Make deep breathing and meditation a part of your daily life to handle stressful situations.6
7. Cut Back Or Refrain From Drinking
Excessive alcohol intake can lead to hypertension that in turn leads to coronary heart disease. It can even weaken the heart muscle leading to enlargement of the heart.7
Ultimately, your heart health lies in your own hands. Remember the warning signs of a heart attack and seek medical attention immediately when the need arises.
|↑1||Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention|
|↑2||Understand Your Risks to Prevent a Heart Attack. American Heart Association|
|↑3||Heart Attack Symptoms in Women. American Heart Association|
|↑4||Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention. American Heart Association|
|↑5||Smoking.British Heart Foundation|
|↑6||Yudkin, John S., Meena Kumari, Steve E. Humphries, and Vidya Mohamed-Ali. “Inflammation, obesity, stress and coronary heart disease: is interleukin-6 the link?.” Atherosclerosis 148, no. 2 (2000): 209-214.|
|↑7||Alcohol and heart disease. drinkaware|