More women than men die from heart issues each year. Better research and statistics are being performed by organizations like the American Heart Association that reports that 1 in 5 women believe that heart disease is a great health threat. Heart disease presents itself differently in men than in women. Chest pain, jaw pain, or arm pain are traditional signs of heart disease in men, while women can experience tiredness, nausea, back pain, and one or two of the same signs as a man.
Companies like USA Medical and Surgical Supplies understand the importance of ensuring that women and loved ones have a healthy and good quality of life. This is accomplished by providing the best EKG machine and other medical and surgical supplies for medical facilities of all sizes. Physicians, clinicians, and women’s health organizations and clinics are focusing on prevention in order to change the heart disease statistics for women.
Even though these symptoms can also be associated with other conditions, if these signs persist, make a doctor’s appointment right away. There are a number of diagnostic tests that a physician will suggest you undertake to know for sure if you are having a heart problem. The more common test is an electrocardiogram or EKG which is commonly used by medical professionals everywhere. Other reliable tests include:
- Blood tests
- Chest X-rays
- Echocardiography tests
- Exercise stress tests
- MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging
What increases a woman’s risk of heart disease and what proactive steps should be taken to help lower her risk and to help protect her heart? Heart disease risk factors that can be controlled include the following:
1. Aging: as women age and begin to experience menopause, their estrogen levels begin to decrease. Estrogen is important in fighting plaque buildup in the body’s arteries that can cause heart illnesses. Keep all your doctor appointments and don’t fight them on the topic of testing. It can be a life-saver.
2. Family history: It is important to know about your family’s history with cardiovascular heart issues. Women are at higher risk if their immediate family members, i.e., mother, father, and siblings have had heart attacks. Family history and lifestyle changes play an important role in being proactive in preventing heart disease.
3. Ethnicity and high blood pressure: African-American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian women are at greater risk of developing heart disease than Caucasian women. The main reasoning for this statistic seems to be based with larger numbers of high-blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes which is associated within these groups.
4. Smoking: Daily smoking increases the risk of heart disease up to four times. Women who smoke are at higher risks than a man for experiencing cardiovascular issues. Smoking causes chemical changes in the body that affects the brain, heart, and how our arteries carry oxygen. Nicotine causes the heart to race and this chemical also causes our blood pressure to rapidly rise. Not every woman can quit cold turkey, but there is help you can get by talking to your physician before it is too late.
5. Exercise: How much exercise is enough to help keep your heart healthy? This is still debatable because each women’s physical makeup is different. What is known and is very important is that you should not just sit every day for long periods of time. A majority of health-related studies show that between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a few days a week helps to lower your blood sugar/blood pressure and lessens the protein enzymes that can cause blood clots.
Please note that it is never too late to start a daily exercise regiment. Statistics show that becoming more active after age 40 still helped to lessen the diagnoses of heart disease than individuals who were not active most of their lives. Remember, that exercising doesn’t stand for top aerobic exercises, which are also good, but it can also be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood, swimming, golfing, and using the exercise machines at your local gym.
There are other factors that contribute to keeping heart disease at bay for women. These include how you sleep and how much sleep you should receive. Stress and/or depression are also contributors to a woman’s cardiovascular health. Both of these factors bear watching in pregnancies. Stay in contact with your doctor and follow their instructions. Managing sleep and stress can lower your risk of heart disease.