The world celebrates 29th September as “World Heart Day” to make people aware of the various cardiovascular diseases. According to World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. At least 32% of the global deaths happen due to CVD(cardiovascular disease), accounting for 17.9 million deaths. 

We can prevent CVD by modifying our lifestyles, food habits, and many other things. You can start adapting to a healthy lifestyle right from today. It is never too late to start over again! Allow us to educate you about CVD, its causes, and prevention and how you can keep your heart healthy and prevent cardiovascular disease.

What is the meaning of cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease consists of disorders of the heart and related organs, including the blood vessels.

Some common cardiovascular diseases(CVD) are as follows:

  • Heart attack or acute myocardial infarction
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Myocarditis

Out of these, a heart attack is the most common cardiovascular disease. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. This totals at least 805,000 people suffering from heart attacks every year. 

Apart from a heart attack, coronary artery disease is the second leading cause of death in the USA. Reports say that at least 360,900 people had died from coronary artery disease in 2019.

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Why is there a growing trend of CVD today?

There are countless reasons, and unhealthy lifestyle changes increase CVD, especially heart attacks. People have compromised their normal lifestyle by excessively indulging in tobacco, alcohol, intoxicating drugs, and fast food. 

These have resulted in risk factors like high blood pressure, elevated blood lipids, high blood glucose, obesity, etc. Unfortunately, most people overlook these health conditions and do not take adequate measures to prevent CVD. Thus, despite knowing that these conditions may aggravate and become chronic, we lead old careless lives.

Let us pledge on this World Heart Day to take necessary and adequate steps to keep our hearts healthy. If you have risk factors, you must address them by exercising 45 to 60 min at least five times a week; eating vegetables, fruits, lean meats like fish and chicken, low-fat and high fiber foods. Consult your doctor regularly and follow the preventive measures so that you can avoid heart attacks. Then, you can Join ZeaMed and discover how you can keep your heart healthy.

Are women likely to have heart ailments?

Heart attacks and other CVDs are common in men and women, but women tend to be vulnerable. Generally, among middle and low-income countries, women give little importance to their health in general and heart health in particular. Moreover, they often tend to ignore the early symptoms because of the inability to afford healthcare.

Women who resort to smoking and alcohol are the easy targets for heart attacks and CVDs. There is a misconception that women get protection from heart attacks, which leads to ignorance. Reports say that the rate of myocardial infarctions has increased among women aged 35-54. 

With ZeaMed in your hands, you do not have to worry! Our excellent team leaves no effort to educate women about their health. In addition, ZeaMed educates everyone on low-cost providers so that people can save money and afford to pay for seeking preventive and prescriptive care. 

Symptoms of CVD

Cardiovascular diseases, in general, have several symptoms. Therefore, men and women above a specific age limit must always look for such signs. Those with risk factors must take special precautions to prevent cardiac arrest, coronary artery diseases, etc.

  • Chest pain and chest tightness is the most common symptom of a heart attack.
  • Pain in neck, throat, and jaw.
  • Dizziness and numbness
  • Coldness in legs and arms if the blood vessels have narrowed.
  • Fluttering in the chest, racing, or slow heartbeat can be a symptom of arrhythmia.
  • A congenital heart failure/disease may develop symptoms like pale grey or blue skin color, swelling in the legs, etc.
  • Heart infection (endocarditis) may show fever, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, skin rashes, swelling in the legs and abdomen.

Coronary artery disease is difficult to diagnose until you have a heart attack, angina, or a stroke.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

As heart attack/cardiac arrest/myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death, let’s explore the symptoms of a heart attack. The following symptoms of heart attack are found both in men and women.

  • Tightness or pressure in the chest.
  • A squeezing sensation in the chest even rises to the neck and jaws.
  • Heartburn, nausea, indigestion, and abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Sudden dizziness

However, everybody will not have similar symptoms. Some may feel all of the above symptoms, while some may feel few of them. In addition, there are cases where the patient doesn’t feel anything even moments before the heart attack, called silent Myocardial Infarction.

A triggering sign of a heart attack or cardiac arrest may be recurrent chest pain or angina, which gets triggered by strenuous activity and lowers down while one is resting.

What are the symptoms of heart disease in a woman?

The general symptoms of any CVD are common for both men and women. Yet, women may, at times, experience different symptoms. So, on this World Heart Day, let us not ignore the heart attack symptoms in women.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the upper parts of the body
  • skin rashes
  • Feeling tired and shaky is a ubiquitous symptom among women.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Sleep disturbances are difficult to wake up and tired despite sleeping well, a common heart attack symptom in women.
  • Left-arm pain

A left-arm pain is a common sign of heart attack in women, which often goes ignored. But, there can be many reasons for left arm pain in women. 

Here’s what women can watch for in a left arm pain

Symptoms for heart attack in women like left arm pain can be very subtle. In the case of men, the left arm pain is usually sudden and becomes unbearable if it’s a heart attack. 

When a woman gets a heart attack, the left arm pain can start subtly and even radiate to the right arm. The chin, upper back, and shoulder blades can start paining soon. If the left arm pain moves to the abdomen, women can start experiencing nausea, vomiting, etc. If this continues, you must immediately consult a doctor or call 911.

Not all left arm pain can be a sign of heart attack in women. An injury, muscle spasm, can also cause left arm pain in women. 

Are females at a higher risk for heart diseases than males?

There is enough research that points out how women are more prone to cardiovascular diseases than men. However, physiology does not yield comparable results for everybody. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Service data shows women aged 35-55 had an increased myocardial infarction in recent times. 

Several findings report that exposure to several endogenous estrogens during the fertile period among women delay cardiovascular diseases. In other words, chances of CVDs like a heart attack the ischemic heart increases after menopause.

Estrogens in a woman’s body regulate the metabolic aspects like lipids, inflammatory markers, and coagulant system.

Women who have a hysterectomy before the age of 50 have increased chances of CVDs as estrogen decreases. So what happens when the estrogen in a woman’s body decreases?

  • Several changes occur in the walls of the blood vessels resulting in the formation of plaque buildup and blood clots.
  • As estrogen decreases, the composition of lipids also changes. The low-density lipoproteins (LDL, bad ones) increase and the High-density Lipoproteins (HDL, good ones) decrease. Therefore, there is a high chance of fat built up in the blood vessels.
  • After menopause, fibrinogen increases, making the blood clot more than usual, leading to heart attacks and other CVDs among women.

When you consider the human race and its relation to CVDs, African Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, Mexicans have high blood pressure. Therefore, CVD is ubiquitous among them.

Why is heart disease increasing in women in recent years?

It’s a bitter truth that recent years have seen an increase in CVDs among women. Some of the reasons are medically proven, like obesity, topsy turvy lifestyle, etc. However, various other reasons for CVD affecting women folks are worth unleashing. On this World Heart Day, let us understand how it works.

  • Cigarette smoking and alcoholism are leading causes of heart issues in women. Smoking is delirious in women than in men, increasing the risk of a first acute myocardial infarction (AMI). 
  • Obesity among women is another primary factor for CVDs. Women tend to gain weight after menopause which becomes prey to CVDs. Central Obesity with an increased visceral fat accompanied by high blood pressure makes the problem more complex.
  • With an increase in body weight comes diabetes. There is also a prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, which doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases among women.
  • Women using contraceptives are also at risk. 
  • People now indulge in fast foods, processed foods, and junk food.

How can we prevent heart diseases?

We can prevent cardiovascular diseases by following a healthy lifestyle right from the beginning. As the phrase- “healthy lifestyle” is an umbrella term, we would explain how it works.

  • Keep blood pressure and lipids in check. One must go for regular testing and doctor visits after 30 years of age. If you are genetically prone, you must take special care.
  • Control weight and exercise regularly.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • If you are a smoker, quit smoking. 
  • Managing diabetes is an essential source to lower cardiovascular diseases. If you have diabetes, get regular blood glucose checkups and doctor consultations.
  • Stress increases the level of blood pressure, which directly relates to CVDs. 

On this World Heart Day, let us all take a step forward to a healthy heart. Achieving a healthy heart and healthy brain is made more accessible with ZeaMed, where your health is the priority. We at ZeaMed constantly educate and motivate people to lead a healthy lifestyle. We believe that everyone should optimize their life by following a healthy and cheerful lifestyle.

Join ZeaMed and experience the bliss of hassle-free healthcare at your fingertips. Subscribe to our blogs and newsletters.

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018605/

https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases#tab=tab_1

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