Women Have Low Risk of Heart Disease Before Menopause Than do Men of The Same Age

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Why female experienced low Coronary Heart Disease Risk then in males

A number of medical researchers and scientists believe that a woman’s own natural estrogen might help protect her from heart disease, but they’re still studying how the hormone may have that effect. Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining healthy, strong muscle tissue, including the muscle of the heart. Estrogen also has an impact on the blood’s level of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, both of which can contribute to atherosclerosis and heart attack. Some studies have shown that estrogen contributes to healthy, reactive arteries and an increased blood flow. As a result, blood vessels are better able to relax and respond to exercise and physical stress by dilating and providing more blood flow when needed. Actually Women in their childbearing years are less prone to heart disease than are men of the same age. However, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), “Menopause itself appears to increase a woman’s risks of coronary heart disease and stroke.” Your risk of heart disease increases when you reach menopause — then just keeps on increasing. If your menopause occurs naturally, the risk rises slowly. But if menopause results from surgery, the risks can rise dramatically and quickly. Although a woman’s short-term risk of coronary heart disease is generally lower than a man’s before the age of 50 (unless she has diabetes, in which case her risk is similar to her male counterpart), her “lifetime risk” greatly increases with age. Menopause appears to be the tipping point at which women’s risk of coronary heart disease catches up with men’s risk.

After menopause:

After menopause, however, when the ovaries stop production, estrogen’s protective effect is lost. The rate of coronary heart disease in women who have experienced menopause is actually two to three times that of women in the same age group who have not experienced menopause. And compared with women who experience menopause at age 50 or later, women who reach menopause before age 45 are at an increased risk.

Cholesterol in Women:

High cholesterol is one example in which the way men and women are affected by a condition and the subsequent treatment that would be appropriate are different. It’s true that high cholesterol in either gender increases the risk of coronary heart disease. However, women under the age of 50 don’t often have a cholesterol level that would warrant typical treatment to lower cholesterol. This is because, before menopause, women tend to have a higher HDL-cholesterol level that protects them. But after menopause, these protective levels of HDL cholesterol can drop.In older women, levels of triglycerides provide an excellent indicator of coronary heart disease. This may be a result of increased insulin resistance, which typically occurs after menopause and is associated with a higher level of triglycerides. Women are also more likely than men to develop high blood pressure at an advanced age.

High Blood Pressure in Women”

Blood pressure begins to become a risk factor of coronary heart disease when it exceeds 115/75 mm Hg. Pre-hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 mm Hg, and lifestyle changes, which may be especially beneficial for women, are recommended at this point. Weight loss and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which restricts sodium, can significantly improve blood pressure. If lifestyle changes don’t result in lower blood pressure, or blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or greater, medication may be necessary.

Diabetes in Women:

The development of diabetes in women — who naturally experience an increase in the risk of coronary heart disease as they age as a result of menopause — is especially worrisome because diabetes significantly adds to this risk. In fact, diabetes has been shown to be more dangerous for women than men. Diabetes Prevention Program study found that lifestyle changes were even more effective than medication at reducing the incidence of diabetes.

Are Women Really Different From Men?

The answer to this is yes, yes, yes! Women are more likely to die of their heart attacks and strokes than men are, even though men have more of these events. Here are some of the differences:

Women minimize their cardiac symptoms.Women seem to “tough it out” more than men, and studies show that when men and women have the same severity of heart disease, women rate it as “mild to moderate” while men rated theirs as “severe.” This keeps women from getting the quick and thorough follow-up care they need.

Women can have different symptoms than men.Women sometimes have only anxiety, or a “doomed” feeling; may be “suddenly very tired”; may vomit; or may have burning abdominal pain. Since these are not the symptoms people think of for a heart attack, they put off getting to the hospital.

Women may have a condition called “coronary micro vascular syndrome.” In this condition, plaque forms evenly in their arteries, and blockages do not show on diagnostic tests. But the artery walls are still blocked at the microscopic level, thus leaving them at risk for a heart attack.

Women Can Prevent Heart Disease

1) Say no – to cigarettes.

2) Watch your waist

3) perform physical activity daily.

4) Use pepper, not salt

5) Cut back – on saturated and trans-fats.

6) Eat colorful foods.

7) Go fishing – at least twice a week.

8) Takes juices.

9) Avoid oily foods.

10) Foster mutually supportive relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.

11) Reduces anxiety and depression, and improves sleep.

12) Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, or visualization.

13) If you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek help from a mental health professional.


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