How to Prevent Heart Diseases in Women?

HEART MEDICLAIM


How to Prevent Heart Diseases in Women?

As per recent studies, cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in women and it accounts for 1 in 4 deaths in females worldwide. The rate of prevalence of heart disease in India has been on the rise, especially in the urban population. In addition to the common risk factors like stressful life, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, there are gender-specific risk factors as well which increase the risk of heart diseases in women. Understanding the early signs of heart disease in women, symptoms, types of heart diseases, and risk factors can help in better prevention of heart disease.

In this article we’ll discuss the related elements of cardiovascular diseases in women. Keep reading!

Types of Heart Diseases in Women

Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease is a broad term which includes many types of heart problems. Here are some common types of heart problems in women.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

When the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles and other body parts, are blocked due to the build-up of plaque, it causes CAD or heart blockage in simple terms. It is the most common heart disease found in women, who are at a higher risk after menopause.

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

In this condition, the heart is unable to pump blood properly causing a fluid build-up in the lungs and other organs. It also causes swelling in the legs and feet, shortness of breath and fatigue.

Arrhythmias

Irregular heart rhythm, when the heart beats either too fast or too slow, causes arrhythmias. It causes palpitations, dizziness or even fainting, which are symptoms of heart blockage in females.

Risk Factors of Heart Diseases in Women

Diabetes, smoking, high BP, and high cholesterol are some common risk factors for heart disease for both men and women. However, there are some risk factors only associated with females. These risk factors include:

Hormonal Imbalance

Any imbalance in hormone levels in a woman can affect her cardiovascular health. One example is a drop in the estrogen level in women going through menopause because estrogen protects from heart diseases. A premature menopause increases the risk of heart disease in younger women. Similarly, the use of hormonal birth control pills, patches or vaginal rings also increases the risk of heart disease in women.

Complications during Pregnancy

Complications like hypertensive disorder, anemia, and gestational diabetes during pregnancy, can be the possible causes of heart attack in women after childbirth. Hence, if you have any such complications during your pregnancy, be watchful of your heart health in future.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrom (PCOS)

PCOS is a condition in women when the secretion of male hormones is more than normal, causing cysts on the ovaries. It causes infertility, irregular periods, weight gain, acne, excessive hair growth etc. This hormonal disorder also increases the risk of heart disease in women.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are genetic conditions which cause your immune system to attack healthy cells in the body instead of protecting them and can affect any body part. Women have more autoimmune diseases compared to men because of hormones and genetic factors. Some autoimmune diseases that increase the risk of heart inflammation and cardiovascular diseases in women are lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Mental health

Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or stress are more common in women as compared to men because of hormonal changes, pregnancy, periods and menopause. These mental health issues affect energy levels making it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Hence, there is an increased risk of heart disease in women  due to the mental health issues.

Calcium deficiency

Calcium is crucial in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Low calcium levels lead to high BP. An optimum level of calcium is also required for the proper functioning of heart muscles. Hence, calcium deficiency is not good for your heart health. 

Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women

Identifying symptoms of heart disease in women is very crucial because most women suffering from a heart problem are asymptomatic. Compared to men symptoms in women are more subtle which can delay the proper diagnosis. So it is necessary for women to be aware of the early signs of heart disease

  • Women may experience a dull squeezing pain in the chest (Angina) which can go up to the back, neck, shoulder blades or jaw. Unlike men, women mostly experience this pain while resting. Stress is considered to be the most common trigger of angina pain in women.
  • Shortness of breath even during a mild activity is also one of the symptoms of heart problems in women. 
  • Women also experience nausea, vomiting or other digestive issues during a heart attack, which are atypical symptoms.
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness is also one of the pre heart attack symptoms females often ignore. Even light physical activity can make you feel exhausted if you are experiencing a heart problem.
  • Sweating for no reason, along with other symptoms should not be ignored.

Prevention of Heart Diseases in Women

Reducing the risk of heart disease is the best way of prevention. However, knowing the early signs helps in timely diagnosis and treatment. By following the given tips on how to prevent heart attack in woman, the risk of heart disease can be reduced. 

  • Adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, eat healthy food, exercise daily, manage weight, avoid smoking or chewing tobacco and manage your stress by pursuing a hobby, socialising, meditation or simply relaxing.
  • Go for preventive medical check-ups regularly. Do not wait till you are 40 or 50, get a complete health check-up done annually irrespective of age. 
  • Always monitor your blood pressure and sugar levels if you have a family history of diabetes or hypertension.
  • Get a cardiac screening done to know if you are at risk of heart disease, and get an ECG, Echocardiogram, or Coronary angiogram done for early detection.
  • If you are approaching menopause, get a proper medical check-up done and follow the advice of your gynaecologist.

Protect Your Heart Today!

Women being the caregivers in the family often ignore their health due to lack of awareness, lack of time or sometimes due to lack of finances. To encourage women to pay attention to their heart health, it is time to educate women about the risk factors, symptoms and prevention of heart diseases. With the help of social campaigns, policies and guidance from healthcare providers, women can take charge of their cardiovascular health and live longer. 

Not to forget, do invest in a heart mediclaim that cover the daunting expenses of a heart illness. We at Care Health Insurance offer coverage for the patients with heart problems under Care Heart plan with comprehensive coverage up to 10 lakh. For more information kindly allow our experts to connect with you.

Be responsive for your health and invest in a good heart health insurance to ensure quality healthcare and secure finances!

>> Also Read: Heart Disease: Types, Causes, and Treatment

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

 

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