What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Health

What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Health

Heart disease has a high fatality rate in the US, and is the leading cause of death for women. One in every five deaths for women annually comes from heart disease, affecting black, hispanic, and white women more than most (6.5%, 6% and 6.1% respectively). Fortunately, 80% of cardiovascular conditions for women are preventable, but symptoms may not present the same way with women as they do with men. Let’s discuss some essential things you need to understand about heart health to prevent dealing with complications from heart conditions.

Women in the Bakersfield, California, area concerned about heart health can seek the expert medical care of Dr. Yadwinder Kang and First Choice Urgent Care. Our team provides a wide range of tests and treatments for working quickly in addressing your medical needs.

What increases your risk of heart disease?

Many of the risk factors are the same between men and women, and about half of people in the U.S. have either high blood pressure, bad cholesterol (large amounts of LDL, or low-density lipoprotein), or smoke. Other common risk factors include:

Age, family history, stress, and poor dental health can also increase risks of heart conditions. Most of these can lead to the most common form of heart disease, a buildup of plaque in your arteries known as atherosclerosis (also referred to as hardening of the arteries).

What symptoms should you look for?

While there are common symptoms for everyone (pressure, discomfort, or pain in the chest), symptoms women are likely to experience include:

Many of these symptoms are common in many other conditions, which can make them harder to detect and connect with heart problems. Women are more prone to develop blockages in both the main arteries and the smaller vessels that supply blood to the heart. 

How can you lower the chances?

Heart disease prevention is the same for everyone: focusing on a healthier diet, lowering and maintaining a healthier weight, reducing stress, reducing alcohol, stopping smoking, and managing conditions that can increase your risks (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol). 

If you have a heart attack, treatments like stenting, statin therapy, bypass surgery, and angioplasty are also effective for men and women (though bypass surgery can have more complications for women). Low-dose aspirin may also be recommended but since aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding, it may not be an option if you’ve never had a heart attack.

Everyone needs a healthy heart, and recognizing the subtle differences between how men and women experience heart disease can save a life. If you have concerns about your heart, make an appointment today with Dr. Kang and First Choice Urgent Care.

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