Previously, it was believed that heart disease was more prevalent among males in the United States. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), women are more prone to heart disease.
Let’s talk about the cause of heart disease, why women are more prone to it, and how our cardiologists at Advanced Heart & Vascular Institute in Boca Raton, FL, can help you keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
What Is Heart Disease, and What are its Symptoms?
Heart disease is a combination of many acute and chronic conditions involving the heart and its associated blood vessels. These conditions can include heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and coronary artery disease. The CDC says that coronary artery disease that occludes or blocks the circulation, is the primary reason for mortality in the United States.
The risk factors for developing any kind of heart disease are:
- High cholesterol
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
Regrettably, around 700,000 individuals die every year in the United States due to heart disease and its complications.
Heart disease symptoms vary from person to person. However, the symptoms women experience can be very different from men’s. Sometimes the first symptom which shows up in women is a heart attack.
The common heart disease symptoms include:
- Pain and discomfort in the jaw and throat area
- Crushing pain in the chest and arm (angina)
- Pain in the upper back
- Extreme fatigue
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath which may or may not include chest pain or heaviness
Why Do Women Get Heart Disease?
Of the above-mentioned risk factors, diabetes is the leading reason for developing heart disease in women. High blood sugars encourage the proliferation of fatty plaques within the coronary arteries, making these blood vessels stickier and more easily occluded.
Additionally, metabolic syndrome–larger waist circumference, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and lipids–increases the incidence of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. In fact, the post-menopausal women lacking the protective estrogen they had in their child-bearing years are more prone to metabolic syndrome and the risk of a heart attack.
Lastly, the women who smoke (or inhale second hand smoke) have high levels of personal or professional stress, which leads to heart disease. A high-sugar, high-fat, processed food diet is a risk factor, too.
Are There Ways to Prevent Heart Disease in Women?
Controlling the particular risk factors for heart disease can prevent or minimize its occurrence. Here are some excellent preventives:
- Stop smoking. The American Heart Association says that if you stop smoking, you cut the risk of heart attack by 50 percent within the first year.
- Get regular exercise. You don’t have to do triathlons. Just pick a moderate aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming, and do it five times a week for thirty minutes.
- Eat healthfully. Drink water. Limit trans-fats and increase fiber with fruits and vegetables.
- Lower stress. Talk out your problems with a trusted friend to avoid depression.
- Talk to your personal care physician or cardiologist. Monitor your blood report and take precautions accordingly. For instance, the optimal blood pressure is 120/30. Body mass index should be no higher than 25. Best total cholesterol is 200 or lower.
Interventional And Clinical Cardiology Experts in Boca Raton, FL
If you are looking for the best doctors to help you deal with your heart disease, we are here to help you. Our board-certified doctors, Dr. Eli Levine and Dr. Michael Schechter, at Boca Raton cardiology practice, are specialized in interventional and clinical cardiology. They partner with their patients in achieving the best cardiovascular health possible. They also help men and women with conditions like congestive heart failure, peripheral artery disease, varicose veins, coronary artery disease, etc.
We can design a care and treatment plan to manage your cardiovascular risks and eliminate the need for complex procedures, and conduct screenings of potential health issues so we can address them while they are still treatable.
To schedule a consultation with our professional team, contact us today at (561) 235-5621, or request an appointment by filling out our convenient online appointment form.