Exercise and lifestyle changes key to good heart health in women

09 March 2016

In view of the fact that the past decade had seen heart disease emerge as the number one killer of Indian women, there was an urgent need to increase the level of awareness of the risk of heart disease among women.

Elaborating on the issue, on the occasion of Women's Day, Dr Manoj Kumar, associate director & head of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj said in a statement, "Women in the 21st century are also more susceptible to early heart disease given their high stress and sedentary lifestyles characterised by a poor diet as well as dependence on smoking and drinking.

Dr Amit Bhushan Sharma, senior consultant cardiologist, Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon said in a statement, ''On the occasion of Women's Day, awareness needs to be raised about how more than 80 per cent of cardiac events in women can be prevented by modifying one's diet, exercising regularly and abstinence from smoking."

A common misconception that existed was that heart disease mostly occurred in men, but the reality was that death rates among women due to heart diseases were up to 2.5 times more than in men. This could be attributed to the condition's different mode of manifestation in women as opposed to men.

Women typically suffered from heart disease on  an average of 10 years later than their male counterparts, though, heart attacks in women are more severe and often go unrecognised due to the presenting symptoms being rather subtle, unlike in men. This is because women tend to develop blockages not only in their primary arteries but also in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Symptoms of heart disease on women typically become more evident following the onset of menopause. Post menopause, therefore, women needed to be extra cautious and should get regular check-ups to ensure good heart health.

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