Women And Heart Disease

Women are busier than ever!
Women are busier than ever! | Source

Symptoms Of Heart Disease In Women Are Sometimes Not Taken Seriously

Life is beautiful - it's a gift from above that we enjoy with our families and friends. We enjoy our hobbies, careers and sports. We go on vacations and enjoy many other activities but we can't enjoy these things if our health is not a priority.

We as women have to stick together on certain issues in life, one of the most important issues being our heart's health. There are many reasons why we put our health needs last and ignore symptoms that could be serious. We are busier than ever with more responsibilities in our lives which keep us from seeking regular health care.

We are caretakers, have full times jobs and sometimes work a second job. We go to school and work, help the kids with their school work, cook, perform housekeeping tasks and we take care of the dog and cat. We are on organizations, go to PTA meetings, pick up the kids from their activities, take the kids places, do the laundry, grocery shopping, put the groceries away and the list goes on and on.

Women have heart disease too

For years heart disease was thought to be mostly a disease that men acquired, usually when a woman presented to the emergency room with a complaint of cardiac symptoms, she could have possibly been misdiagnosed as suffering from anxiety, nerves, upset stomach or some other minor problem. Now it is a known fact that heart disease is the number one killer of American women. Many women are having their first heart attack at younger ages than ever before.

Women are usually last on the list to go to the doctor when something does not feel right in their body, we usually pay more attention to our childrens' health, spouses's or significant others' health or our parents' health. There are many times when we may reach for an over the counter medication and hope that the "minor" ailment will go away. Too many women are now ignoring the symptoms that may be symptoms of heart disease.

Symptoms Of Heart Disease In Women

The symptoms of heart disease women experience are very different than the symptoms a man would experience. Since the symptoms a woman may experience may seem minor they are more likely to be ignored. Symptoms are stomach upset, back pain, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Some may experience feeling lightheaded and could possibly black out, have pain in one or both arms, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, pain in one side of the jaw and acid indigestion. The number one symptom of heart attack is still chest pain or tightness.

Take care of your heart!
Take care of your heart! | Source

Heart disease Facts for Women

Only 13% of women view heart disease as a health threat even though it is womens number one killer . (University of Wisconsin).

  • There are 8 million American women living with heart disease today.
  • 1 in 4 women has some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • 1 in 2 American women dies from cardiovascular disease: it claims the lives of nearly 500,000 women each year. That’s about one death every minute.
  • Since 1984, the number of female deaths from cardiovascular disease has exceeded that of males.
  • Cardiovascular disease is a particularly important problem among minority women. The death rate due to cardiovascular disease is substantially higher in African-American women than in Caucasian women.
  • Nearly 39 percent of all female deaths in America occur from cardiovascular disease.
  • This year, an estimated 345,000 women will have a heart attack. Heart attacks occur an average of 10 years later in women than in men.
  • 38 percent of women compared to 25 percent of men will die within one year of having a heart attack.
  • The rate of coronary heart disease in women after menopause is 2 to 3 times that of women the same age before menopause.
  • 64 percent of women who die suddenly because of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms

(Above facts are from the Cleveland Clinic)

There are a number of risk factors of heart disease which are both modifiable and non-modifiable.

Modifiable Factors

Cigarette Smoking - Smoking by itself increases one risk for cardiovascular disease, it increases blood pressure and can cause the blood to clot. When women use oral contraceptives and smoke, the risk for heart disease is greatly increased. (American Heart Association)

Alcohol use -Too much alcohol can increase triglycerides in the blood, increase blood pressure and cause heart failure. Men should try to limit their alcohol intake to 1 - 2 glass per day and women glass per day. (A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100 proof spirits). It is recommended by the American Heart Association for people not to start drinking if they don't already do so. (American Heart Association)

High Blood Pressure - When blood pressure goes up, the heart has to work harder putting the heart and blood vessels under a strain, over time high blood pressure damages the vessels of the heart causing cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure is known as the "silent killer" because many people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms.(University of Iowa Health Topics)

High Cholesterol and High Triglycerides - When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup causes the arteries to become narrowed and blood flow to the heart is slowed down or blocked. The blood carries oxygen to the heart, and if enough blood and oxygen cannot reach your heart, you may suffer chest pain. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack.(National Cholesterol Education Program)

Get to know your cholesterols and your numbers

  1. Total cholesterol - all the cholesterols combined
  2. HDL cholesterol - often called "good" cholesterol
  3. LDL cholesterol - often called "bad" cholesterol

The recommended values for adults are different depending certain risk factors, but in general:

  • LDL: 70-130 mg/dL (lower numbers are better)
  • HDL: more than 40-60 mg/dL (high numbers are better)
  • Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL (lower numbers are better)
  • Triglycerides: 10-150 mg/dL (lower numbers are better) (American Heart Association)

Obesity - Excess weight and obesity greatly increases the likelihood of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). This occurs when the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle become narrowed impeding blood flow to the heart increasing the risk of heart attack.

Unhealthy Diet - increases cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Non-Modifiable Factors

Getting older, having a strong history of cardiovascular problems, gender - males are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than pre menapausal women, however, after menapause, a woman's risk is very similar to a mans.

Ethnicity - Persons of African American or Asian decent are at higher risks.

Regular exercise can help to prevent heart disease.
Regular exercise can help to prevent heart disease. | Source

Let's Get Healthy

OK, let's talk about the modifiable risk, there are a number of them out there that can really improve your heart's health and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or lower your risk of heart attack if you've already been diagnosed as having cardiovascular disease.

See your PCP - Try to see your primary care provider yearly. A way to help you remember is to have an appointment made around your birthday. Seeing your doctor on a regularly will increase your chances of staying healthy longer and diagnosing any potential health problems early which could save your life

Quit smoking - if you quit smoking you can significantly lower your risk of heart disease no matter how long you have been smoking. Talk to your primary care provider about the various treatments available to aide with smoking cessation.

Weight - Being overweight increases one's risk of cardiovascular disease. A healthy weight loss diet taking the pounds off slowly especially by increasing physical activity will benefit your heart tremendously. Your primary care provider can arrange for you to see a nutritionist or dietitian to develop a personal weight loss plan.

Diet - Start watching your cholesterol. Try to limit your saturated fats which is the main dietary cause of high cholesterol and is found mostly in animal products, and to increase your polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which is found in fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants. These types of fats can help to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL).

Conclusion

If we women stick together and encourage one another to make heart healthy choices everyday we would be able to live longer and enjoy all of the many wonderful blessings life has for us and our families.

To Your Heart's Health!

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Comments 23 comments

theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Such a well written hub on a very important topic!! Rated up!!


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you very much for your comment!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Good job. Lots of excellent information that is very well presented. Well done.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you very much Ken!


myawn profile image

myawn 6 years ago from Florida

Very good information. I have heart disease it is not easy to diet but I do eat heart healthy


lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 6 years ago from Virginia

Awsome hub. Great details.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice information. As we know that heart disease have top position for the deadly disease. You have great tips here. I think all woman should read this hub. Good work and I rate this Up!


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you very much, hopefully the rate of heart disease in women will go down since specific studies are being conducted on women now.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

This is a very thorough, well written hub with very important life saving information. Great hub. I gave it Awesome!


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you so much Pamela99! Yes, if we as women would make some health changes in our life there would be less heart disease and more lives would be saved.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Creativelycc, Wonderful informative article! Great healthy suggestions to improve our health! Thank you for sharing, In His love, Peace & Blessings!


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

You are very welcome DeBorrah!


dealrocker profile image

dealrocker 6 years ago from California

Nice hub! Great information! Liked your other hubs too! Joining your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine. :)


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you very much dealrocker!


rose56 profile image

rose56 6 years ago

this is very important hub . to let women know what to look out for. We as women sometimes ignore some symptoms.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you rose56,

Life is too short and precious, we women have to learn how to listen to our symptoms and take care of them so that we can live long productive lives.


Wife Who Saves 6 years ago

This is a great hub. Your best advice was to go to the doctor. My heart disease was diagnosed early and dramatically improved with diet and exercise. I do not even have high blood pressure anymore. I never would have known if I had not gone to the doctor for exhaustion.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine Author

Hi Wife Who Saves,

So happy to hear that your health has improved with diet and exercise! You're very lucky that you do not have hight blood pressure anymore! Thank you very much for your comment!


Maria 24 months ago

I was curious if you ever thghuot of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what you've got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. You've got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 24 months ago from Maine Author

Sounds good, I'll work on it next week. Thank you!


Fit 23 months ago

Simply wish to say your article is as hsasnitoing. The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.


Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 19 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi Carrie, the symptoms that women get for heart disease is scary, since some of those are common and we tend to ignore them. I am glad you wrote this article to make us women aware of heat disease. At least 2 of the factors I am guilty of, weight and diet. I do go to the doctor regularly and I do have a leaky heart valve so I get echo cardiograms yearly, but I will be watching my diet more closely. Thank you for sharing this information. Voted up and useful.

Blessings to you.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 18 months ago from Maine Author

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for your comments and I do hope you are doing well. I'm glad to hear that you are staying current with your doctor appointment due to your leaky heart valve. We women have to stay on top of our health, especially our heart health since signs of trouble are manifested differently in us than men.

Blessings to you too!

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