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Emma Kalman




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Published on: 20 Oct 2016 by e-kalman

Heart Disease Risk Factors Affecting Women

There’s quite a
common misconception that heart disease is very much a man’s disease.
Unfortunately this certainly isn’t the case as heart disease is a main cause of
death in women of all ages. It’s important to make sure you are aware of the
risk factors for heart disease, particularly as there are certain factors that
affect women more than men. The average age for a woman to have a heart attack
is during her early 70s, but this is no reason for complacency. Shockingly more
22-year-olds will die from heart disease than from breast cancer.

Risk Factors That Can Affect Both Men and Women

These are the risk
factors you may already be aware of and which include:

Age and Family History

More than 80% of
people who die from heart disease are over the age of 65. Your family history
also makes a big difference; if you have a parent with heart disease then your
risk is higher.

Your Blood Pressure

High blood
pressure is another common risk factor as it means your heart has to work
harder, increasing your risk for heart disease.

Cholesterol Levels

Most people are
all too well aware of the effect of cholesterol levels, as the risk of heart
disease is higher when blood cholesterol levels are raised.

Your Weight

Obesity is another
big factor that can impact you, even if you don’t have any of the other risk
factors. Carrying extra weight around your middle where it can affect your
organs is particularly bad for heart health.

Metabolic Syndrome

There’s also
something called metabolic syndrome. It is when a person has insulin resistance
combined with low levels of good cholesterol and high levels of the bad cholesterol,
and a larger than average waistline can increase the risk for this disease.
Metabolic syndrome also increases the risk of diabetes which may also raise the
risk of heart disease.

Risk Factors Affecting Women More Than Men

These risk aspects
still affect both men and women, but it’s been discovered that they can have a
bigger impact on women.


Anyone who smokes
is between two and four times more likely to develop heart disease, but the
risk for women is higher. It’s likely this is because on average women tend to
be smaller than men, so every cigarette they smoke will have more of an impact.


Depression is
associated with a higher risk of heart disease, but it isn’t an independent
risk factor. It’s not yet known if there is a biological reason for this
connection or if it’s due to the way people react to depression. People who are
depressed are more likely to eat unhealthy foods or to smoke, and they are less
likely to exercise regularly. The effect is compounded by the fact that people
with depression are more likely to miss their doctor’s appointments, so any
signs of heart disease are less likely to be detected. A higher percentage of
women than men are affected by depression, so this factor can have a bigger
impact on their risk.


Interestingly this
is much more of a risk factor for women than for men. Women with diabetes are
four or five times more likely to be at risk for developing heart disease,
while the risk for diabetic men is around two times higher compared to men
without diabetes.

Estrogen Levels

Younger women with
diabetes tend to have lower estrogen levels, something that is often connected
with polycystic ovary syndrome. Older women with diabetes are more likely to
have some sort of history of hormone imbalance. Women who have a history of
polycystic ovary syndrome are more at risk for heart disease and diabetes. The
connection between estrogen levels and heart health isn’t yet fully understood,
as much of the research carried out into heart disease tends to focus on men’s

Lowering Your Risk of Heart Disease

There are easy
ways you can help lower your risk of heart disease by making sure you eat
healthily, take regular exercise and stay within a healthy weight range. Get
regular checks for your cholesterol levels and avoid smoking.

If you do have
certain risk factors for heart disease it could be worth booking an appointment
with the top cardiologist in
. Scheduling an appointment with Dr Michael Ghalchi at Manhattan Cardiovascular
will help you discover advanced medical management techniques to
help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.



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