Women – Menopause – Heart Disease ! Gender does play a role in risk factors for heart disease. You may have heard that women are less at risk for heart disease, but think again!
Heart disease does not care what sex you are, it does not discriminate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that heart disease is the leading reason for death for both women and men in the U.S.
Research has taught us that when your estrogen level drops after menopause, your risk for heart disease increases. Estrogen has protected you somewhat, up to now, as estrogen keeps your blood vessels more flexible.
It is very important that you recognize the signs of a heart attack as early treatment is critical . What should women be looking for? A strong feeling of pressure lower down in your chest with shortness of breath or pressure between the shoulder blades can be a sign of impending heart attack. Also if you feel pain in your jaw, throat, nausea or dizziness, these could be signs.
If you also suffer from anxiety be aware that symptoms such as palpitations that you have with anxiety may also be symptoms of a pending heart attack. A recent study in Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes suggests that signs of heart disease can thus be masked and lead to misdiagnosis. Don’t ignore these symptoms.
Risk factors you share with men are your family history, (did family members have a heart attack?), smoking, high blood pressure, and OBESITY.
We can’t do much about entering menopause, but we can take better care of our health. We can stop smoking and lower our blood pressure. One of the key things the Mayo Clinic recommends in this article is getting our weight under control. If you want to read more about weight control check out how I am doing in my blog.
Women – menopause – heart disease – you can do something to prevent it!