Smoking poses even more risk to young women
According to Dr. Helene Glassberg, a cardiologist and associate professor of clinical medicine at Penn Medicine, “Cigarette smoking is a potent risk factor for young women than men when it comes to developing heart disease.” She notes it as distinct from the higher risk of the blood clots seen in women smokers using birth control pills. Further she says that using tobacco is a stronger risk factor to develop plaque in the arteries and for the heart disease among young women.
Classic heart attack occur in women too
The crushing chest pain such as an elephant standing on your chest, shortness of breath, pressure as if a rubber band is squeezing your heart, pain shooting down your left arm and radiating up to your jaw are the classic heart attack signs irrespective of gender. The Chief of Cardiology for the University of Arizona College of Medicine- Phoenix, Dr. Martha Gulati says, “ We want every woman to understand that if they have had these symptoms then you should know what you are probably having is heart attack. Because around two-thirds of women will have the typical symptoms.”
Your cardiologist is more likely to be a man
Whether it makes any difference in terms of recognizing or treating heart disease being uncertain but male cardiologists far outnumber the female cardiologists. Gulati who is also the editor in Chief of CardioSmart and a member of the American College of Cardiology’s committee on the cardiovascular disease in women says that between 11 and 12 percent of the US cardiologists are women.
Women are less likely to get recommend heart attack care
The initiative of the American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines looks at measures of the clinical performance in the US hospitals. Gulati says, “These are some of the best hospitals which voluntarily present their data nationally. Yet we’ll see that women when compared with men are less likely to get the standard of care while they are presented with having a heart attack. They are less likely to get aspirin or a beta-blocker within 24 hours. These are the life saving therapies which happen the minute you think that somebody’s having a heart attack.
Men are more likely to receive certain procedure
Gulati says, “Women with a heart attack are less likely than men to be treated in a catheterization lab. When you come in through the emergency room, the door to needle time should be less than 30 minutes. Meaning from the minute you hit the door of the emergency room, getting a needle into your groin to start a coronary cath or angiogram should be less than 30 minutes. That’s the goal for all hospitals and all patients.”
Broken heart syndrome rare but real
Glassberg says,” Two extremely rare heart problems largely affect women.” The spontaneous coronary artery dissections involve tearing the lining of the artery. She says, “That seems to happen more frequently in women in their 40s and 50s who are perimenopausal and are taking estrogen. Broken heart syndrome or stress-induced cardiomyopathy is though to result from acute, abrupt stress or an adrenaline surge.” Further she says that severe emotional stress such as the loss of a loved one could contribute or the physical stress such as trauma.
Hormone replacement requires caution for women
Women going through menopause may take the hormone replacement therapy for easing the symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Glassberg says, “If you are a postmenopausal woman with very low heart risk but you are really being troubled by your postmenopausal symptoms then maybe one year of the hormone replacement therapy would not be an inappropriate thing to try. But if you are someone who’s at great risk for heart disease or you’ve already had a cardiac event then taking hormones is something that I’d probably recommend a patient to avoid.”
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