The medical community has historically stated that men were at greater risk of developing heart disease than women. However, new data shows that women are now at an increasingly high risk of developing heart disease. The affliction is now the leading cause of deaths among women.
A number of changes in western society may have played a role. Studies have shown that women tend to live the same unhealthy lifestyles as men.
According to cardiologistÂ Peter Dourdoufis, the prevalence of heart disease among women is increasing significantly. The problems are associated to changes in lifestyles and increased exposure to risk factors.
Women are also under considerably more stress than they were in previous years. This has placed them at a higher likelihood of developing heart disease and other health problems. In previous decades, many women stayed at home and helped with cooking and cleaning. In today’s society, women have their own careers and work just as long hours as their male counterparts.
Many women are single mothers who must carry the emotional burden of raising and providing for a child on their own. Dourdofis said that women are under pressure to fill a number of different roles in society today. The stress is having a clear impact on women. He said that younger women are coming into his office to treat heart disease than in previous years.
Dourdoufis also said that women are also just as likely to develop type 2 diabetes or suffer from obesity as men are. They will need to make considerable lifestyle changes in order to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Heart disease among both men and women has become an even larger concern since the recession. Many people are foregoing medical care because they lack insurance or can’t meet their copay.
Another major concern is that women are less likely to recognize that they are having a heart attack. Men tend to suffer from extreme chest pain and other obvious warning signs. However, the symptoms of a heart attack are more subtle. Both genders may not feel any symptoms or realize that they need to seek help. However, women are more likely to experience a heart attack without realizing it. Failing to recognize and treat a heart attack can be deadly for women, even if they don’t show any symptoms. Dourdoufis said that a heart attack should be treated within two hours. After that time frame, the damage becomes pronounced and more difficult to reverse.
Treating heart disease is also more difficult for women.Â Cardiovascular surgeonsÂ have reported that they struggle to perform operations on women because they have smaller arteries which are more difficult to operate on.
Women need to be aware of the dangers of heart disease. They should minimize stress, focus on living a healthy lifestyle and be aware of the signs that they may be suffering from a heart attack.