How Heart Disease Differs for Women

How Heart Disease Differs for Women

Heart disease is a term used to describe a number of common heart problems, including coronary artery disease (CAD) and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). An estimated 30 million American adults are living with heart disease, and it’s the leading cause of death in the United States.

In the past, heart disease and related conditions were labeled largely as a men’s health issue — but in truth it affects women just as often.

There are a few key differences between heart disease in women vs. men, however, and it’s important to recognize when your health might be at risk. Take a moment as Michael Avaricio, MD, of Advanced Cardiac Care explains what you need to know.

Different factors increase your risk of heart disease

Anyone can develop heart disease, regardless of age, gender, or race. Some factors increase the risk of heart disease in both women and men, including:

But research indicates that certain other factors put women at greater risk of heart disease than men. Some of these factors are:

These conditions can have adverse effects on your heart over time, increasing your risk of heart problems as you get older.

Signs of heart disease may be more subtle

For men, chest pain is the most common symptom of CAD and other types of heart disease. But for women, symptoms are often more subtle. Women are more likely to experience:

Sometimes, heart disease is silent, causing no noticeable symptoms. Silent heart disease is more common in women than men.

Heart disease may go undiagnosed longer

Because many women often have mild symptoms (or none at all), it’s easy for heart disease to go undiagnosed and untreated.

Unfortunately, untreated heart disease increases your risk of complications like heart attack, heart failure, or even death. In fact, nearly two-thirds of women who die from heart disease didn’t have any previous symptoms.

How to protect your heart health

Heart disease poses a threat to your health, whether you’re a woman or a man. The good news? There’s a lot you can do to protect yourself.

Dr. Avaricio and our team specialize in cardiovascular care, and we work with you to monitor and improve your heart health. Getting regular cardiovascular screenings is one of the best ways to evaluate your risk of heart disease and track changes in your heart health over time.

We review your medical history and your lifestyle, then take measurements that may include body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and more. We determine the frequency of your screenings based on your unique risk factors. 

Ultimately, if we identify signs of heart disease, we develop a treatment plan to manage your health.

Is it time to schedule your next heart screening? Call Advanced Cardiac Care at 718-640-2710 or request an appointment online now.

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