A New Understanding of Heart Disease in Women

By: James Pendergraft

It is the new theme of the times that women today are as prone to heart disease as men. This is a far cry from the mainstream belief a couple of decades ago when only men were susceptible to heart diseases. Furthermore, such belief emphasized that as long as women keep themselves fit, they are likely to avoid heart disease. This belief is very much true because a major reason for the susceptibility of women today is due to changes in lifestyle and diet.

Why Women are Susceptible to Heart Diseases

To help women understand why they may suddenly find themselves at risk of heart diseases, it is important to consider the following factors that can contribute to one’s susceptibility.

1) Heredity. If there is a family history of stroke or heart diseases, the chances are that a woman is likely to develop them.

2) A previous heart attack or stroke. If one is lucky enough to survive a heart attack or stroke, it is no cause for celebration. This is because such attacks can occur again. And when they do, one must be prepared for the worst.

3) Gender. Although stroke and heart attacks are more likely to occur in men as well as attacking men at an earlier age compared to women, women are at a greater danger than men because statistics show that they are more likely to die during the first attack than men.

4) Age. As a woman gets older, the chances of having heart diseases increase as well.

Keeping Heart Diseases at Bay

In order for a woman to have better chances of avoiding heart diseases the following steps should be taken:

1) Make sure to engage in physical activity. Women who have sedentary lifestyles are more prone to heart diseases than those that have active lives. This is because exercise can strengthen the heart muscles and make it more able to withstand heart ailments.

2) Keep your weight down. Obesity is one contributing factor why a woman develops heart disease. This is because in an obese woman, fats surround the heart muscles that can block the arteries.

3) Allow yourself some time for relaxation. This is a must for women who constantly balance work and maternal obligations at home. In such a situation, a woman is very susceptible to stress and pressure. What is needed is a way to vent those pressures through a positive means. An hour of playing with the kids is one common way mothers employ to help lighten their load.

4) Stop smoking and drinking. These are not beneficial to your body. All they do is bring you closer to heart disease.

5) Watch your diet. A woman’s diet is very important foe avoiding heart disease. Avoid oily and fatty foods and instead focus on fresh fruits and vegetables.

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