Heart disease is among the cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and blood vessel system. According to the National Institutes of Health, heart disease is the top killer among women in the United States, with 1 in 4 women will dying from the disease. In 2009, the disease was responsible for killing 292,188 women.
Who is At Risk for Heart Disease?
The primary risks for men and women developing heart disease are obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. However, there are some risk factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing the disease. They include:
Lifestyle choices. Women who are obese, lack proper exercise, and smoke cigarettes are at a great risk for heart disease.
- Women with diabetes also have a higher chance of developing cardiac disease than a man of similar lifestyle choices who also has diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome. If a woman has extra fat around her abdomen, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure, she might be at a higher risk for heart disease.
Mental ailments. When women have conditions such as depression, anxiety, and mental stress, it can significantly increase their risk for heart disease. This makes early treatment for these conditions important in order to lessen the risks of cardiovascular problems.
What are the Symptoms?
One of the greatest risks of heart disease is the possibility of having a heart attack, and resulting death. Experiencing pain or discomfort in the chest can be one of the first heart attack symptoms. However, many women have other symptoms of cardiac arrest as well, including:
- Right arm pain
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Neck, upper back, jaw or shoulder pain
What Are the Treatment Options?
Treating heart disease helps relieve symptoms and can lower the risk factors of having a heart attack. There is not a cure for heart disease, but many treatment options by a cardiac specialist can help women lower their risk of blood clots, prevent a heart attack, and help reverse the buildup of plaque.
One of the most important things for a woman to do if she has heart disease is participate in regular exercise. If not accustomed to exercising though, patients should heart doctors what exercises are best. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the exercise pace and intensity level.
Other lifestyle changes are also essential, including eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and losing excess weight. Because smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and its associated complications, it is imperative to quit smoking. In some cases, your heart doctor will recommend prescription and non-prescription medications to help with heart disease, including taking a baby aspirin daily.
If you think you are at risk for heart disease or have symptoms, consult your cardiologist right away for an evaluation and Arizona cardiovascular treatment.