Here there is no gender bias. Hitherto, it was thought that Indian men were more prone to heart diseases than women, but this myth is shattered. In recent studies, it was found that the number of women with cardiovascular diseases is on a constant rise.
Changing lifestyles have taken their toll. With women being in the forefront in professions and businesses, they are unfortunately exposed to the many risk factors that lead to cardiac diseases.
Studies reveal that in India, three in five women are at the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also revealed that along with stressed work conditions, sedentary lifestyles, and bad dietary choices, low levels of HDL and higher BMI were the prime culprits.
Now, the alarming fact is that both housewives, and working women between the ages of 35-50 are highly prone to cardiovascular diseases. In fact, it is more among housewives.
Some Cardiac Risk Factors in Women
- Sedentary lifestyles.
- Lower levels of HDL. Stress.
- Physical Inactivity. Diabetes.
- High Blood Pressure.
- Women smokers are on the rise in India.
- Bad Dietary Choices.
Other factors like pregnancy hormone treatments, birth control pills, and menopause can also influence the heart health of a woman. There is also the genetic factor in cases of women with heart diseases running in their families.
Why Women are at risk?
A study done by Heal Foundation called “Visualizing the Extent of Heart Disease in Indian Women” revealed trends that were mapped by many cardiologists. The trends reveal that women are at 20% more risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases than five years ago.
Smoking and consuming alcohol, low levels of estrogen, diabetes, and bad lifestyles are putting women at greater risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Another disturbing trend is that cardiovascular diseases are not sparing the younger ones too. This is due to the fact that women are consuming more high saturated fats, consuming more salt, but are not eating enough vegetables. Dietary choices that exclude whole grains, fruits, nuts, and lentils are the culprits here.
Heart Disease and Menopausal Hormone Treatment
Hormone therapy is a necessity for many women after menopause. It was previously thought that hormone therapy could prevent heart diseases, osteoporosis, and cancer along with improving the quality of life. Recent clinical trials seem to prove otherwise.
The shocking thing that was found out was that long term usage of hormones could increase the risk of heart diseases! Estrogen+progestin therapy was found to considerably increase the risk of heart disease.
If you are taking post-menopausal hormone therapy, consult a gynaecologist to eliminate the risk of heart diseases.
How to find out if you are at risk?
- You are at risk if you are:
- A smoker, consume alcohol, or both.
- Quit smoking and alcohol first.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have high blood cholesterol.
- If you have diabetes.
What to do next?
First up, you have to consult a doctor and get an overall health check-up. Share everything that matters with your doctor as the doctor can help you achieve your health goals. Get a medical review at least twice a year.
Changing lifestyle is an important aspect of preventing heart diseases. Get adequate exercise. Follow the diet regimen prescribed by the dietician. If you have diabetes, or high cholesterol, it is paramount that you keep them under control. Manage your stress as this can keep you in sound mental health. With sound mental health, your risk quotient for heart disease reduces considerably.
It was found that taking preventive measures can reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases by 80%. So, there is every reason to cheer up and start a new healthy life.
You can consult experienced cardiologists of Apollo Hospitals online now.