It’s sad news for all you ladies out there, but it’s true. Women are officially having more heart attacks than men. This doesn’t mean it is destined to happen to you, but chances of suffering from a heart attacked are increased if you are female.
Cardiovascular disease is the top cause of death in women worldwide. In the US the rate has been dropping since 1984, but the numbers are still greater than those of their male counterparts, according to the American Heart Association. This may be due to the fact that women tend to put off getting cared for, and Dr. Gregg Fonarow states that this is what contributes to the higher rate of deaths in females.
The attacks women suffer also differ from those of men, and we will go on to explore why this is the case. There are certain signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for that aren’t always easy to spot. We are going to discuss what to look for, how an attack can be treated, and how you can try to prevent it from happening in the first place.
We want you to live the longest, happiest life possible, and taking care of your heart is the beginning and foundation of it all.
Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death in Women
Very few are aware of the high risk of heart disease among women. As mentioned, it is the leading cause of death in women all over the world. With all the other health problems these days, not many people take much notice of heart attacks now. But, they are a big killer, and it needs to be known. With our women’s health initiative through educational resources, we hope to raise awareness and get more women to start taking better care of themselves in order to prevent such a tragedy.
Heart disease kills a whopping ten times more women than breast cancer. However, the latter seems to be in the public eye a lot more. Perhaps it’s the lack of knowledge and publicity that leads to women neglecting the issues that can provoke an attack, and therefore not do a lot to prevent one.
More focus needs to be put on younger women and their habits. A lot of people may associate heart attacks with the older generation, but there isn’t a good reason for this. Women between 30 and 45 have smoked more than their older relatives did, and many more are obese. These are two leading contributions to diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, which in turn can lead to heart attacks.
There has been an increase in younger women suffering from heart attacks but this is a little known fact to most. With all the stresses of modern life these days, it’s no wonder that many can also be caused by this fact.
How Women’s Medical Care for Heart Attacks Differ than Men’s
It may sound strange, but how a heart attack occurs and shows signs are quite different in women and men. In men, they present themselves with more obvious symptoms and gives them more of a chance to seek help. But for women, unfortunately, the signs are more subtle.
Many women who are suffering from an attack don’t recognize the symptoms and won’t go to get checked. This is obviously very dangerous as it means they are far more likely to be fatal without the correct diagnosis and treatment.
It’s a good idea to be in tune with your body and know a few important figures. These include keeping track of and always checking blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, BMI, and the circumference of your waist. At least with the knowledge of these things you should be able to keep them under control and do something about it if they are too high.
Chest pain is the number one symptom in both sexes, but it isn’t always present. Without it, you may think that it’s not too serious, but it still can be. Many women who have survived an attack will say that they just felt a little ‘off’. A lot of you would probably take a lie down instead of rushing to the emergency department if you just felt a little unlike yourself.
Treatment can also be different. Women are less likely to receive medication after an attack than men, and this actually leads to the fact that 28% more women than men die in the year after an attack. It’s sad but true. No one can answer why this happens, either, so it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the matter to make sure it doesn’t happen. And, if it does, that you demand the right aftercare to prevent further complications.
Women are also more likely to suffer from sleep issues than men. Menopause is a big contributing factor. Poor sleep can lead to heart attacks, so another problem ladies have to face to combat the likelihood of an attack. Seeing a women’s specialist or women’s physician will make it more likely that you’ll get the right treatment and get on the road to recovery.
Visit Your Well-Women’s Health Clinic to Discuss Lifestyle Habits that May Increase Your Risk of a Heart Attack
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While it may be saddening to hear that women are more prone to an attack, it’s good to know that there are certain things you might be doing that make it more likely. This means there are also things you can do to reduce the probability of it happening.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you may be doing that can increase the risk. This way, you can better understand why women are more likely to suffer, and have a chance at reducing how much you do them, or stop altogether.
Smoking is a big killer and not just because of cancer. It is a huge cause of heart disease, which leads to attacks. When you feel young and healthy, you may not be worried about things like that, but making healthy changes now will help increase a brighter and healthier future. Finding support and effective methods to quit this habit is a good way to quickly increase your quality of health and decrease the risk of heart disease.
We all know that alcohol isn’t good for us, but so many of us like to have a drink to take the edge off after that difficult day at work, or even let our hair down at the weekend. The occasional drink is ok, but you really shouldn’t be exceeding the weekly limit of units as it can really affect your heart health, as well as other organs and their function in your body.
Another area of health that has gotten out of control. A large percentage of the country is overweight or obese, which takes a real toll on your ticker. Excess weight does not only build up around your waist, but it also builds up around organs too, and one of those being the heart. This puts you at a much higher risk of a heart attack. However hard it may seem, losing weight is something you really need to start doing if you want to live longer.
More women are out at work these days or managing a job, housework, and kids. That’s enough to cause anyone a big amount of stress. If there’s no way you can cut the workload, looking into activities like yoga, meditation and exercise can really help.
There are so many things that can contribute to stress; it can be hard to pinpoint just what’s causing you so much trouble. Don’t be afraid to speak with a specialist and let them know how you feel. They can really help to get you back to feeling like yourself again.
Even if you are stick thin, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your diet is a good one. Sometimes people think that eating less is more, but it isn’t. Eating too much or too little is bad. And what we do eat needs to be well balanced. A date with the nutritionist will soon get you on the right track and eating healthily for a longer and more energy filled life.
As we said before, women suffer from more sleep deprivation than men, and it can lead to a heart attack. Poor sleep leads to more stressful feelings, and you not having the energy to cook a healthy meal. Try a healthy, relaxing herbal tea or a quick relaxation routine before bed to see if they can help. Sometimes just a few simple changes to your routine can make you sleep better, or even just changing the setup of your bedroom.
Looking After Children
Having children is one of the best things that can happen to most people, but they are also a handful. More often than not, women are the ones who take most care of their little ones. But it does add more stress to your life and can wear you down.
Speak to your partner or parents about helping out a little and see if you can get some child-free you time. Even if it’s just to take a walk in the park or meet a friend for a coffee, it can really lower the feeling of stress and have you feeling refreshed for when it’s time to get back to the family.
Taking Care of Elderly Relatives
This can actually be more stressful than looking after children. Your older relatives may live with you or in a home. Wherever you take care of them, it’s tough to see someone who once took care of you in a now fragile state.
This can make you feel sad and at a loss when you want to help them. They can also be more demanding than children, and you don’t want them to feel abandoned. Again, rally as much help as possible to help lessen the load and to have someone else to talk to about how you’re feeling.
Have a Chat With Your Women’s Specialist to Help Prevent a Heart Attack
Those were just a few of the things that can factor into a heart attack. It’s a good idea to visit your local Well Woman Health Clinic so that you can have a chat with a women’s specialist and see what they suggest. They will be able to pinpoint which are greater factors in your particular case and help you come up with some ideas on how to battle them and become healthier.
The encouraging part of all this is that if you know the risks that are posed, you can take steps to prevent them. A specialist can help you prevent the first and second heart attacks in up to 80% of cases. So, now let’s talk about a few things, you should be doing to prevent a heart attack as much as possible. After all, we don’t want it to happen to anyone.
Have Routine Check-ups at Your Women’s Medical Clinic
Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash
Many of us tend to forgo medical check-ups if we think everything seems fine. But it’s a bad idea. Prevention is much more effective than treatment for any medical issue. You won’t even need treatment if you’ve prevented something in the first place. You should also be checking your vital statistics, as we mentioned earlier to make sure everything is working as it should.
It’s simple to organize and won’t take a long time. It could save your life one day, so having a check every few months could really be adding years to life, instead of taking them off. Women’s medical care is a specific area of medicine, and the specialists will have a much better idea about any issue you are facing, and will also have better advice for you than a regular doctor.
Eat a Healthy Diet
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to eat well. You probably hear it everywhere now, but it’s true. It’s becoming ever more popular these days to eat a plant-based diet or to be a vegetarian. Others like to cut out gluten or lactose or may be allergic.
If you are considering a diet change in any way, you should see a nutritionist first. It may seem healthy, but you could be cutting out vital nutrients. It might be doing more bad than good, and you’ll just create more problems for yourself.
A balanced diet is what everyone needs and a regular eating schedule. Eating at a different time each day can also be damaging to your health. So speak to someone who knows what’s best for you and your body.
Something else that we hear a lot about and know that we should be doing. A lot of us don’t, however. Simple things like walking the dog or walking a couple of blocks instead of taking a taxi can make a big difference.
If exercising is something you don’t really like the sound of, why not try a team sport? Or playing some tennis with your bestie? You’ll have more fun and will forget about the fact that you’re doing something good for your body.
Having a device that counts your steps, calories burned, and other interesting statistics can really help you out and give you goals to reach every day. Most of us will be more likely to exercise if we have a target.
Avoid Smoking and Being Around Second-Hand Smoke
We already know that this is a bad habit that can lead you to an early grave, and we just want to emphasize it a little more. If you are a smoker, it’s not too late. There are plenty of methods out there that exist to help you give up the habit. If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again. You will eventually be able to do it and will be so glad you did in the future.
It’s also a good idea to avoid other people who smoke. It’s easier to do these days as people aren’t allowed to smoke inside, but there might still be occasions when a family member wants to smoke inside, or you’ll sit outside next to your friend who smokes. Whoever it is, try to stay away from passive smoking as much as possible. It can do just as much damage as smoking itself.
Be Consistent with Medications Prescribed by Your Women’s Specialist for Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
These are two considerable factors that lead to heart attacks in the end. If your specialist has prescribed any medication for either or both of these issues, you need to make sure you take every dose. Not doing so will only put you back to where you started and put you at higher risk again. Take care of yourself and don’t neglect your meds. A pillbox or reminder on your phone can be great ways to make sure you remember them every day.
Study Reveals Increased Survival When Women are Treated by a Woman Physician for a Heart Attack
This may or may not surprise you, but it’s a fact that if you have a heart attack, your chance of survival is going to be higher if your doctor is female. A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that women in the ER who were treated by women were two to three times more likely to survive than those treated by male doctors. They discovered that the men had trouble communicating with the women and couldn’t see things through their eyes.
That’s quite worrying and is a real issue. But it only adds to the reasons why you should see a women specialist instead of going to see your regular doctor. We aren’t saying that you should stay away from male doctors, and sometimes you won’t have a choice. But, if it does occur, you will need to make yourself heard and advocate for the treatment you require.
Finding a women’s physician in your area should be top of your to-do list. A quick search on the internet should bring up a whole host of options, and you can decide who you go and see.
Arizona Women’s Specialists, North Valley Women’s Care
After reading through all the causes, symptoms, and ways to prevent a heart attack, you probably feel ready to make some lifestyle changes yourself. It’s a great idea. We all want to live a long and happy life and see the grandkids grow up. Instead of waiting to see if something happens, you should prevent it. You may get lucky, but you may not. No one knows how their life will pan out, but it’s a good idea to give yourself the best shot possible.
The best start is going to see the specialist we’ve been talking about. One who knows women, the issues they face, and how to help them. You are going to get the advice and help you need.
A perfect example is the Arizona Women’s Specialists of North Valley Women’s Care. They do wonders in supporting care for women. They offer assessments that will check your symptoms and be able to help you with healthy lifestyle choices to support your heart health. All over the country, you’ll find similar establishments, so you should be checking right away where the closest one to you is.
They also offer other services, so it’s really easy to have all your women’s issues taken care of in the same place. Once you become familiar with a place, you’ll feel comfortable going back there time and time again.
Your whole body relies on your heart to stay alive, so taking care of that before the rest of yourself is the best thing you can do. Kick the bad habits, eat healthily, start to exercise, and be aware of your body.
If you just take these into consideration, to begin with, you should be able to prevent an attack. And, if it does happen one day, you’ll be ready and know where to go and what to expect when it comes to treatment. Take care of your heart, and it will take care of the rest of you.