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June 2010
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When you think of heart disease, you probably think of a risk of death for men. However, since 1984 more women have died from cardiovascular disease than men. While more men are at a greater risk of having a heart attack than women, women are only half as likely to survive a heart attack as a man. The risk factors and symptoms of heart disease may be different for women. That’s why women’s health information on the topic of heart disease is so important.

Risks and Symptoms

For anyone, smoking is makes heart disease more likely. While women’s health information shows that premenopausal women have some protection against artherosclerosis because of the presence of estrogen, that protection isn’t enough to cover the added risk of smoking or diabetes. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which blood vessels become clogged and narrowed because of the buildup of fatty substances.

The resulting decrease of blood flow causes the symptoms of coronary heart disease. High levels of cholesterol are a risk for heart disease. Especially bad are high levels of LDL cholesterol. Diabetes is as great a risk for a heart attack as heart disease is. A woman with diabetes has the same risk of heart attack as a woman with heart disease.

According to the best women’s health information, diabetic women should manage their blood sugar and get aggressive treatment with LDL cholesterol lowering drugs. The leading cause of death for women with diabetes is cardiovascular disease.

A woman’s risk of atherosclerosis rises over the age of 55. Family history can be a risk factor if a woman has a brother or father diagnosed with atherosclerosis before the age of 55 or if she has a sister or mother diagnosed before the age of 65. The latest women’s health information shows that obesity makes a woman much more likely to develop heart health problems.

Problems linked to obesity include coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and heart disease related death. According to women’s health information, metabolic syndrome is the combination of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes and high cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

When a woman is the strong one in the family, she may be less likely to complain about small aches and pains. This can lead to missing early signs of heart disease. According to the best women’s health information, silent ischemia is a result of atherosclerosis that doesn’t cause pain or any specific symptoms.

A woman who is at risk of heart disease should have an EKG to rule this out. Women need to look to women’s health information to learn about their risk of that man’s disease – cardiovascular disease.

Roland Parris Jefferson III is an online researcher based out of Los Angeles, California. For free tips, resources and expert advice on Women’s Health, please visit our Womens Health Information Resource.
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