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Heart Disease in Women

A majority of people think that women do not get heart disease but the fact of the matter is that more women die from heart disease than from anything else. Heart disease symptoms in women are usually different from symptoms in men. Chest pain is often associated with heart disease but women may not experience chest pain and if they do, they might call it an achy, tight or "heavy" feeling instead of pain. This pain can be in the back between the shoulder blades, instead of the chest. The signs of heart disease in women are

  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling sick to the stomach
  • Feeling scared or nervous
  • New or worse headaches
  • Feeling "heavy" or "tight" in the chest
  • A burning feeling in the chest
  • Pain in the back, between the shoulders
  • Pain in the belly, above the belly button

Although the traditional risk factors like high cholesterol and blood pressure levels and obesity affect both women and men but other factors play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women.

Metabolic syndrome: A combination of fat around the abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides has a greater impact on women than on men.

Stress and depression affect women's hearts more than men's.

Women who smoke are more in danger of getting a heart disease than the men who smoke.

Low levels of estrogen after menopause pose a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease in the smaller blood vessels.

Different ways to lower the risk of heart disease in women are

  • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Include a diet that's low in saturated fat and salt