Women and Heart Disease
Even though women are less likely than men to suffer from high cholesterol, there is an increased risk and prevalence of women and heart disease complications. A third of all deaths in women worldwide can be linked to heart disease, and more than half of all total heart disease related deaths are in women.
While estrogen does offer some defense for women that men don't have, there are some factors that cause women to have a greater risk of heart disease and related problems such as stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol:
If you are a women and are concerned about heart disease, there are simple steps you can take to lower your risk of developing side effects and complications such as eating a balanced diet, practicing stress management and relaxation techniques, living a healthy lifestyle, and consulting with your health care provider when necessary.
- Smoking - On average, women who smoke are at risk of suffering a heart attack 19 years earlier than women who don't.
- Diabetes - Diabetes more than doubles the risk of a heart attack and provides a much stronger connection between women and heart disease.
- Weight - Women who are obese or overweight are more susceptible to developing heart disease and suffering heart attacks at earlier ages than women of an optimal weight.
- Stress - High stress environments and situations can put excess strain on the body and lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular complications.