Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ). But some people still think of heart problems (19459004), especially heart attacks (19459006), as a male problem. Unfortunately, a recent study suggests that heart attacks are not only a problem for women, but also occur more frequently in younger women.
The study, which was published last November in the journal Circulation ] analyzed data from hospital surveillance of heart attacks in people between 35 and 74 years old in four communities in Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina. The researchers looked at the records of more than 28,000 patients hospitalized for heart attacks between 1
"This is a truly provocative study that identifies some of the biggest problems we see around the world in preventive health, where individuals with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease are identified," explains Dr. Nicole Weinberg, cardiologist Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, opposite SELF.
There are some possible reasons for this trend.
The authors of the study note that two important risk factors for heart disease – Hypertension and Diabetes – occurred more frequently in young patients who had heart attacks, especially 71 percent of young women with heart attack in the study had a history of high blood pressure and 39 percent had one Diabetes: 64 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in young men with heart attacks.
Both hypertension and diabetes were associated with F Co-author Melissa Caughey, Ph.D., a cardiovascular epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine, tells SELF. "Women under the age of 54 have a higher prevalence of obesity and diabetes than men of the same age group, and the trend continues to grow," she says.
Obviously, not everyone with diabetes or high blood pressure has obesity – and patients with these risk factors are not necessarily recognized and treated early, Dr. Vineyard. "Even if women are diagnosed with these conditions, they are neither aggressively treated nor undergo interventional therapy," she says. "So their prognosis is not as good as men's."
Stress – which can directly and indirectly increase blood pressure – may also play a role med. Johanna Contreras A cardiologist and director of heart failure at Mount Sinai St. Luke's, tells SELF. This kind of stress could result from a traumatic or abusive situation, but your work, pressure at home and other life stressors can build up without healthy coping mechanisms.
There are some ways to reduce your risk of heart attack.
For beginners, it is important that you visit your doctor regularly, even if you feel comfortable. Jennifer Haythe, co-director of the Cardiovascular Women's Health Center at Columbia University's Irving Medical Center and cardiologist at New York-Presbyterian, Columbia, tells SELBST. "Women should visit their doctor at least once a year and ask for the assessment of the heart," she says. This may include considering your age, weight, smoking habits, blood pressure, diet and exercise habits, lipid profile (which measures the level of cholesterol and fat in your blood), and possibly even an electrocardiogram Herzens.)
If you have modifiable risk factors for heart disease, it is important to respond to it. med. David Goff, director of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, told SELF. This may mean that you make changes to your food, prioritize sleep quality and stress management, or increase physical activity. "Earlier diagnosis and treatment of risk factors can minimize heart disease in this population," adds Haythe.
If you have a family history, tell your doctor so that he or she can monitor your risk. "A familial risk for heart disease makes all this advice even more important," says Dr. Goff.
However, do not assume that you are condemned to a heart attack if it seems to be in your family. "Genetics and family history are not everything," says Caughey. "There are many steps you can take, for example, to adopt a healthy lifestyle that can lower your risk, even if you have a family history of heart disease."
There are some classic signs of a heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends that you call 911 and see a hospital immediately if you notice any of the following situations:
- Unpleasant pressure, squeezing, bloating, or mid-chest pain (this may last longer than a few minutes or goes away and comes back)
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath with or without discomfort in the chest
- Outbreak in a cold sweat  Nausea
- A feeling of drowsiness that is new or unusual to you
In women, however, the symptoms may be different than in men. Women tend to have the less obvious symptoms – such as nausea and vague chest discomfort or tightness – than the stereotypical, squeezing chest pain. It is therefore important to see a doctor if you have new or distressing symptoms like this, even if you are not sure if it is a serious condition or not.
It is also important to know the signs of an underlying heart problem. Laxmi Mehta, MD, director of the Women's Cardiovascular Health Program and a medical lecturer at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF, even if you're not necessarily concerned with a medical emergency such as a heart attack. Many people suffer from heart disease without knowing it, and it slowly evolves over time and may not be obvious as US. National Library of Medicine says.
Symptoms of heart disease include chest pain, swelling of the ankle and shortness of breath, and they should be an indication that something requires your doctor's attention, according to US. National Library of Medicine . Treating symptoms like these early with your doctor may even help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Pay particular attention to your body and do not be afraid to talk to your doctor if you think something is off.