Are Women More Likely to Die After Heart Attacks?
If you’re a woman, it should be a cause for concern to know that women are more likely than men to die from a heart attack (myocardial infarction). These types of heart attacks are caused when blood flow to a certain part of the heart is blocked long enough for that part of the heart to become damaged or die, according to A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.
Researchers analyzed data from 5,000 patients included in the Observatoire Regional Breton sur l’Infarctus du myocarde (ORBI) registry over a six year period in Brittany in France. The research concluded: “Women have a worse prognosis (outcome), possibly due to longer management delays and less aggressive reperfusion (restoration of blood flow to an organ/tissue) strategies.” They found that 1,174 patients- 23 percent were women- according to a report of FirstPost.com.
The Gender Discrepancies
MedPageToday.com also offered the following data gathered from the study:
- Women experienced inter-hospital myocardial infarction at 9 percent compared to men at 4.4 percent
- Women had a longer delay between MI signs and calling for medical assistance
- Women had longer delays between hospital admission/reperfusion therapy, including treatments upon discharge
Until health care professionals can mitigate the gender inequalities of extended ischemic time and MI fatalities with aggressive treatments, women need to be proactive about the management of their health. With health awareness and lifestyle modifications, women can recognize what the onset of a heart attack looks like and help prevent it from occurring.
The Latest | Fighting the Heart Attack by Blocking Inflammation
Typically high blood pressure and cholesterol are the primary causes of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Reported by The Wall Street Journal, studies by the National Institutes of Health will analyze the treatment of inflammation as a strategy for reducing the risk of heart attacks. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing response.
Moreover, chronic inflammation is when irritants and injuries cause the system to work in overdrive, which can lead to a heart attack. Beyond conventional strategies for prevention, anti-inflammatory drug methotrexate and antibody canakinumab are being tested for the reduction of serious cardiovascular problems.
Until blocking and lowering inflammation become a solid prevention strategy for cardiovascular problems, women need to increase their MI awareness and adopt conventional methods of prevention and treatment, such as exercise, diet and lifestyle changes that control cholesterol and blood pressure. Whether you’re a young woman in your 20’s or past 60 living in one of the best retirement communities, it’s never too early or too late to start giving attention to your health to prevent chronic inflammation, heart disease and a heart attack.
Diet & Nutrition | A Healthy Lifestyle to Prevent Heart Disease
A healthy and happy heart is your future. A healthy heart requires ongoing exercise, a nutritious diet filled with superfoods and a commitment to really care about your future. To decide what to fuel your body with, remember these heart-healthy essentials:
- Vegetables and fruits (benefits: vitamins, minerals, fiber)
- Whole grains; e.g. pasta, 100 percent whole-wheat bread, high-fiber cereal, ground flaxseed (benefits: fiber, blood pressure regulation, lower blood cholesterol)
- Protein; e.g. lean poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, legumes (benefits: omega-3 fatty acids, fat and cholesterol reduction)
Be cautious of the following:
- Unhealthy, saturated and trans fats, e.g. butter, margarine, shortening, lard, creamy sauce (risks: high blood cholesterol levels, plaque buildup, coronary artery disease)
- Sodium, e.g. canned/processed foods, frozen dinners, condiments (risks: high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease)
Starting Now | Preventing Heart Disease with a Healthful Lifestyle
Everyday lifestyle choices are what determine your prosperous health in the future. Protect your long-term health by following these tips for disease prevention:
- Exercise: Regular physical activity contribute to weight control, which reduces serious heart conditions, including “high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes,” according to MayoClinic.com.
- Chronic Emotional Stress: Stress speeds heart rates, constricts blood vessels and can contribute to increases in inflammation; mostly, stress precipitates factors that can lead to heart disease and problems.
- Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco: Any amount of smoking significantly increases risks of heart disease. Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels, which narrows arteries and causes a heart attack.
- Get Regular Checkups and Tests: Screening your health for signs of high blood pressure and cholesterol ensures that you’re heart healthy.
Medical Attention | Recognizing the Preemptive Signs of a Heart Attack
Because of the alarming and risky delay in time for seeking medical attention, women are highly encouraged to recognize the early signs of a heart attack and to not dismiss those symptoms. Call for health care assistance immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain that may move to other parts of the body (tight squeezing, heavy pressure, crushing); mild or severe â€” sporadic or lasting for longer than a few minutes
- Shortness of breath and heart palpitations
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness and fainting
- Anxiety and clammy sweats
Keep in mind that “silent heart attacks” are just as serious, can be just as damaging and can lead to more severe, undetected heart attacks. A silent heart attack may occur without recognizing any typical symptoms. Give attention to mild signs of a heart attack, including “indigestion, dizziness, weakness, sweating and sudden fatigue,” according to LiveStrong.com. Routine screenings can also help detect any signs of unrecognizable heart problems.