More on Women and Heart Disease

Cardiac Procedures NYIn a recent article, we discussed the issue of heart disease and the subtle ways it presents in women, offering Susan Lucci’s recent health scare as an example. Hearing that heart disease is the number one killer of women can feel frightening, understandably. For that reason, we want to follow up our last article with a brief discussion about how to spot the signs of heart disease in women and how to reduce the risk of a cardiac event.

Research has taught us that we cannot look at heart disease the same in women as we do in men. Risk factors are different. Symptoms are different, too. The average man who has a condition like atherosclerosis may feel sharp angina-type chest pain. The women with the same condition may have very little chest pain at all. Instead, she may feel:

  • Arm pain
  • Back pain
  • Upper abdominal discomfort or stomach pain that feels like indigestion
  • Throat pain or a sense of having something in the throat
  • Tightness in the jaw
  • Fatigue, sudden or chronic
  • Nausea

Proactivity for Heart Disease

Heart disease can be treated and managed with appropriate cardiac care. However, scientific studies suggest that up to 80 percent of heart disease can be prevented. This is great news for men and women alike. Who doesn’t love the idea of instilling a few habits to live a longer and healthier life!

  1. Reduce weight with a diet that can be maintained. No fads. No strict deprivation of foods that you love. Everything in moderation. That is, unless moderation is not possible. Multiple studies have indicated the immense value of a plant-based diet. Less meat and more veggies for the win!
  2. Reduce stress. The American Heart Association discusses stress as a major factor in cholesterol and blood pressure, which happen to be factors in heart attack risk. Reducing stress doesn’t have to look any particular way. Grab some pens or crayons and color, if that suits you, or hit the putting green, the dance floor, or the yoga mat. Stress relief is vital for all of us today, and it can be tailored to suit our personality.
  3. Manage weight with regular activity. Get up and get moving, says the AHA, to inhibit the formation of fatty plaques in the arteries. Like stress reduction, an active lifestyle is something of your own complete design. Have fun with this and you’re much more likely to keep up your new habits.

If you have questions about the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, we’re here to help. Call 516-437-5600 to schedule a visit at our Lake Success, Forest Hills, or Richmond Hill office.

Posted in: Heart Health

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