Heart Disease in Women

Heart disease is not just a man’s problem since women can get it. In the United States, heart attack is the main cause of most deaths among women contrary to popular belief that breast cancer is the number one cause of death in women. Heart disease is also the primary cause of disability in women. In fact, almost twice as many women living in the United States die of stroke, heart attacks and other types of cardiovascular diseases than the number of deaths in women caused by breast cancer.

The blockage or narrowing of the coronary arteries is the common cause of heart attacks. This is also called coronary heart disease. Since the coronary arteries are blocked, the heart can’t efficiently pump blood, causing lack of blood supply and oxygen. This type of heart disease occurs slowly over time. Coronary disease is the main reason why people experience heart attacks.

It is most likely that women over the age of 65 can get heart disease though women must be concerned about this disease even when they are young. Women can follow some steps in order to prevent heart attacks, and one of the most helpful ways is through a healthy lifestyle.

AHA (American Heart Association) identified some factors that are believed to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If a woman has more risk factors, she is likely to have a greater risk of stroke or a heart attack. Some of these factors are those that are beyond a person’s control such as family health history, age, gender and race. However, women can control, modify and treat most risk factors to lower the risk of having heart disease.

Smoking has been proven to be the main accelerator and cause of heart disease. This means smoking accelerates or causes heart attack by speeding the progression of atherosclerosis, altering the lipid profile and increasing the oxygen demand of the heart muscle by 10 percent. Smoking also helps reduce the blood flow of the coronary artery because of the adrenaline release. Smoking also diminishes the collateral flow reserve of the coronary artery. It also lowers the pain threshold for angina and interferes with the medication designed to avoid angina attacks. Smoking raises fibrinogen blood levels, alters the clotting system of the blood platelets and causes dysfunction of the endothelial cell. The best way to reduce the risk of heart attack is to quit or never try smoking.

Heart Disease Statistics

o One person in the USA dies from a heart attack every 34 seconds.

o One person in the USA experiences a heart attack every 20 seconds.

o Over 2,500 Americans die from different types of heart disease every day.

o More than 250,000 people die of heart attacks every day before reaching a hospital.

o Countries that have the highest death rates from various heart diseases are Romania, the Soviet Union, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

o Around 6 million people are hospitalized every year in the United States due to heart attack.

o Men experience heart attacks 10 years earlier than most women.