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Female Health Issues-Heart Disease in Women

Heart disease is responsible for the most deaths worldwide for both men and women of all races. According to the American Heart Association,
approximately every 40 seconds an American will have a heart attack.

Contrary to the popular belief that heart disease is predominantly a “man’s disease “, Heart

disease in women is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing

289,758 women in 2013.

Heart disease, in general, refers to several types of problems that affect the heart. Coronary artery disease is the most common one.

Heart disease, in general, refers to several types of problems that affect the heart. Coronary artery disease is the most common one.

Cardiovascular disease, which is another name for heart disease,
includes diseases of the blood vessels, which carry blood to
different parts of your body. These include coronary artery disease,
vascular disease, and stroke.

Common Type of Heart Disease 

Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. It means that your heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular
pattern. When the heart beats faster than normal, it is called
tachycardia.

Arrhythmia are usually harmless; however, if they are particularly abnormal, or result from a weak or damaged heart, it could be the of a serious problem.

The most common contributor of developing arrhythmia are too much
caffeine, cocaine. Cocaine in particular can cause severe damage to
the heart beat pattern.

Heart Failure

Heart failure also known as Congestive heart failure, occur when the heart
muscle doesn’t pump blood as it should. Blockage in the arteries or
high blood pressure can weaken the heart’s muscle causing its
failure.

There are many conditions that can overwork your heart, but the ones that
you can have some control by being aware of are high blood pressure,
alcohol, diabetes.

Heart valve disease

Your heart has four valves that keep the blood flowing in the correct
direction. A heart valve disease occur when one or more valves in
your heart doesn’t work properly. This can cause the blood flow to
be disrupted.

Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease also known as coronary artery disease occur when the coronary arteries become narrow by plaque buildup in the wall of the arteries.
The coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply blood and
oxygen to the heart.

Blockage in the arteries can cause serious damage to the heart because the
heart’s muscles are not getting enough oxygen.

This is a very serious condition that can cause illness and death. The main cause of blockages in the arteries is the cholesterol deposit.

A diet rich in avocado, broccoli and especially asparagus helps reduce the “bad” cholesterol and increase the “good cholesterol” that helps to clear the arteries.

Some of the indications of a possible coronary heart disease are: pain,
discomfort, pressure, tightness, numbness, or burning sensation in
your chest, arms, shoulders, back, upper abdomen, or jaw.

Heart attack and stroke

A heart attack happens when the heart muscle begin to die due to a lack
of oxygen. This typically occur when the blood flow to a part of the
heart is blocked by blood clot.

A stroke happens when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or
bursts, cutting off the oxygen supply to the brain.

The risk factors for heart attack and stroke are the same. They are
usually caused by blockages in the blood flow. Exercising regularly
and maintaining a diet that promote good cholesterol is the easiest
way to eliminate blood clots.

Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women



The major challenge for women is that some heart disease symptoms in women may be different from those in men.


A woman can have a heart attack without chest pain. Fortunately,
women can take steps to understand their unique symptoms of heart
disease and to begin to reduce their risk of heart disease.

The most common heart attack symptom in women is some type of pain,
pressure or discomfort in the chest. But it is not always as severe
or even the most prominent symptom, as in men.

Sometimes, women may have a heart attack without chest pain. Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest
pain, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms.
  • Pain in the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Braking out in cold sweat, nausea or lighheadedness

Not all chest pain is a heart attack

Angina is a type of chest pain that usually last only a few minutes.

Angina occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t get the blood supply and
oxygen that it needs.

It’s not usually life threatening, but it’s a warning sign that you could be at risk of a heart attack or stroke. With treatment and healthy lifestyle changes, it’s possible to control angina and reduce the risk of these more serious problems.

The difference between angina and a heart attack is that angina attacks
don’t permanently damage the heart muscle.

Female Health Issues- Preventing Heart Disease.


There are many ways to prevent heart disease. To reduce the chance of
getting heart disease, it’s important to follow certain basic steps:

  • Quit smoking
    smokingSmoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material which narrows the artery. This can cause angina, a heart attack or a stroke.

  • Limit your alcohol intake
    Alcohol can cause a temporary increase in heart rate
    and blood pressure. In the long-term, drinking above the guidelines
    can lead to ongoing increased heart rate,
    high blood pressure, weakened heart muscle and irregular heartbeat.

  • Know your blood pressure.

    Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your heart in a number of ways, such as: Coronary artery disease and heart failure.

  • Keep your blood sugar level under controlOver time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes. In adults with diabetes,
    the most common causes of death are heart disease and
    stroke.

  • Lower your stress level.

    Stress is a big part of the heart disease equation, as it causes
    the heart rate to go up, much higher than most stressed-out
    people are aware of.


  • Check your cholesterol and triglycerides.

    When there is too much cholesterol
    in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries.

    Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood which is measure with high cholesterol level.


  • Maintain a healthy diet.

    Diet is an important risk factor in coronary heart
    disease. Food-related risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes and a diet high in saturated fats. A low-saturated fat, high-fiber, and vegetables  food diet
    can substantially reduce the risk of developing heart
    disease.

Justina Lantigua de Quezada

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