Is Heart Disease Different For Men and Women?

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 23, 2016 23:07
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Is Heart Disease Different For Men and Women?

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How is Heart Disease in Men Different from That in Women?

So how is heart disease different in men and women? Heart disease is the same in both men and women, but what’s different is how men and women react to it. Some of the signs and symptoms of heart disease may differ in men and women as well.

There is no question that heart disease is a growing concern all over the world. It is also a sign of prosperity as heart disease is more prevalent in developed countries such as the US and Germany than in some of the poorer regions of the world such as Africa or South Asia. Heart disease is caused by unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, stress and lack of sleep. It is a major killer in the United States and the American Heart Association estimates that at least 700,000 people die of heart attacks in the country every year.

Both men and women suffer from classic signs of heart attacks such as crushing chest pain, pain in the left arm, epigastric pain, which can cause a serious heartburn, a severe abdominal pain, etc.  They suffer from other symptoms such as shortness of breath, severe jaw pain, chills, nausea, cold and sweating and clammy skin.

Note: Not all of these symptoms indicate a heart attack, but if you happen to experience any of them for more than 2 minutes, then it is important to seek medical help urgently. Every minute matters when you are having a heart attack.

Generally, men are considered to be more prone to heart attack than women. So much of the research on heart disease and heart attacks are performed on men, not on women. There is a definite shortage of information when it comes to women and heart attack. Doctors often misinterpret chest pain in women and fail to identify it with heart attack, and attribute it to other causes. This never happens with men.

Both men and women can have atypical or unusual symptoms of heart disease such as a pain in the stomach, upper back or right arm, or a general feeling that there is something very wrong (called as “general malaise”). But such symptoms are more common in women than in men.

A study found that men suffering from right sided discomfort were 4.7 times more likely to complain about it and seek medical attention before it developed into a cardiac attack. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to complain about a throat discomfort. Researchers say that men were 5 times more likely to recognize the symptoms of heart attack than women.

Men on an average wait 3 hours to go to a hospital after suffering from one of the symptoms of heart attack, while women wait much longer, for four hours.  This extra hour can have fatal consequences, as when one has a heart attack, every minute is important.

The sooner you can get the treated after suffering from one of the symptoms of heart attack, the more likely it is that you are going to survive. Doctors say that starting a treatment within one or two hours of the first sign of heart attack would reduce the need for a surgery to a significant extent. According to a 1999 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of the deaths due to heart attack in the US happened because the patients delayed getting help.

Herein lies the difference between men and women. Women delay getting help after a heart attack because of a lack of awareness of the symptoms of heart disease. There is a tendency among women to disbelieve that a heart attack can ever happen to them – most women associate heart attacks with men. Such denial can prove to be dangerous.

Women generally have heart attacks at an older age, while many men have it when still young or middle-aged. For women, other medical conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes could be the contributing factors behind heart attack.

Also, since most of the research on heart attack has been performed on men rather than on women, there is a feeling in the medical community that the diagnostic tests and procedures on women may not be as accurate as on men. This leads to a lot of confusion and can cause untold sufferings to the women who are affected by this condition, as any delay in the diagnosis increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 23, 2016 23:07
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