What Is Heart Disease In Women?
Heart disease in women is a very important topic historically women have been thought not to get heart disease it’s really been a disease of men but in fact, the incidence of heart disease in women is increasing every day also women tend top resent with heart disease further along in their disease process because again it’s not thought of when we see women in the office or in the hospital but also women tend to have more silent symptoms.
If you will women who are experiencing heart attack or chest pain generally don’t have that classic pain they might have just a symptom of fatigue or a little bit of short of breath or just not feeling well so generally it goes unrecognized so we don’t discover that they have heart disease until much later in their course which also leads to poor prognosis so it’s been our focus more recently.
The American Heart Association has had a strong campaign to bring awareness to heart disease in women and that needs to continue to be delivered that message needs to continue to be delivered in order to slow the progression of heart disease in women I think here at Memorial Regional Hospital.
We have first-class team assembled that can provide cardiac surgery services to the general public what makes us special I think is really the quality of our team, not just the heart surgeons, particularly but you know medical personnel such as two trained board-certified cardiac anesthesiologist who are really expert at what they do nursing therapists physical therapists nutritionists we really have a first-rate team in place that I think allows us to deliver the very highest quality of cardiac surgery.
We also I feel we’re at the cutting edge of cardiac surgery we offer all aspects of treatment from standard coronary artery bypass surgery to valve surgery to minimally invasive valve surgery we also provide services such as treatment of arrhythmias particularly atrial fibrillation and then recently we’ve added a real expertise in aortic surgery in patients who have a or to gander isms or the emergency aortic dissections we feel that that really improves the overall outcomes of patients after they’ve had something like heart surgery.
Heart Disease Symptoms In Women?
The signs and symptoms of heart disease are very different in women than in men or female patients the symptoms can sometimes be more complex they tend not to have the classic elephant sitting on their chest occasionally we’ll see that but a lot of times patients will come in or female patients particularly will complain of shortness of breath and fatigue those are probably the two that I see the most sometimes they’ll present with dizziness or palpitations that can be a sign of heart disease.
Occasionally we’ll get some very unusual chest pain syndromes could be pain between the shoulder-blades I see that much more in my older population occasionally it’s sort of a heartburn type symptom that’s also common in women and unfortunately even today with all the literature that’s out there about how significant heart diseases and women I think unfortunately a lot of those symptoms get downplayed and patients don’t get in until they have pretty severe diseases or if already had damage to their heart.
Heart disease treatment in women?
Heart disease is the number 1 killer and women and it is surpasses all forms of cancer combines most heart disease is preventable so if we could reach these women in their 20s and 30s and 40s and educate them on what to watch for and get treatment started early when it’s necessary and find early detection studies for heart disease in the same way we do early detection studies for Breast Cancer we’re going to save a lot more lives.
Stress reduction is very important to maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle and it is something that I counseled many of my patients on particularly the women. What’s important about having a woman’s heart center is that we have physicians who are passionate about taking care of women, we have physicians that are educated in the differences between cardiovascular disease and men and women and we also have the benefit of being able to do research in an underserved field so we’ll be able to further our knowledge of women’s heart disease in the future and what we can do to prevent heart disease in women and how we can manage women with heart disease.
- Emory: Woman’s heart center is really to promote awareness among women that heart disease is the number one killer so the primary way we do this is through our screening program to help educate individual women on their individual risk and what they can do to modify that risk and then possibly if needed get further treatment.
- Community Events: So we go out and speak to corporations women’s group’s church groups really anyone who wants to know more about heart disease and women and we do that all year long with a lot of focus in February being Heart Month.
- Increase Education among physicians: Who care for women and so one thing we do is we put on an annual education program to primary care physicians OBGYNs family practice internal medicine and mid-levels who take care of these patients as well as cardiologists to really promote the research and information on how to best care for women and the differences in women with heart disease.
- Promote research among women: If women don’t enroll in the research studies then we’re never going to know exactly what’s best for them, Unfortunately, many research studies over the past 30 years have only had about 20% enrollment and females and some studies have had none at all so until we actually do the research on women we’re not going to know the best way to treat women in the future.
Heart disease valve in women?
Each year as many as 5 million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease is a cardiovascular condition that affects men and women of all ages but that becomes increasingly more common with age overall it is estimated that 1 in 50 women have valve disease but by the age of 75 and older, that number grows to 1 in 10 women.
Valve diseases involve damage to one of the hearts for valves the thin leaflets of tissue that separate the 4 chambers of the heart. A person may be born with a heart defector valve damage that may develop later in life from an infection of cardiovascular problems like a heart attack or simply aging.
Most heart valve disorders involve either regurgitation or stenosis though some may involve both types of damage with regurgitation the valve doesn’t close completely allowing leaks stenosis occurs when the opening becomes stiff or narrowed and limits blood flow all 4 valves can be damaged but diseases of the tricuspid and pulmonary valves are rare.
Aortic Stenosis is one of the most common types of valve disease affecting one in four women over the age of 65 and is often caused by thickening of the valve from a natural build-up of calcium. Aortic Regurgitation or insufficiency occurs in around 8% of women where leakage causes the heart to stretch and enlarge.
Mitral Valve Prolapse is a type of regurgitation where an enlarged or floppy mitral valve fails to close properly it only occurs in about 6% of women mostly younger and declines with age with mitral valve stenosis the narrowing of the mitral valve opening women account for 70% of cases and are 3 times more likely than men to have the condition while many types of valve disease are not serious others cause the heart to work harder enlarged and lead to complications that can cause major health problems disability loss of Independence and death.
Fortunately, People of all ages who have valve disease can usually be successfully treated with valve repair or replacement even though both men and women get heart valve disease for the experience can be very different women tend to be smaller than men in both body weight and stature and have smaller hearts these differences are important when it comes to recognizing symptoms getting diagnosed and making proper treatment decisions.
Some people with valve disease may not show symptoms but severe cases usually cause symptoms like chest pain or pressure, joint pain, muscle aches, sudden weight loss, irregular heartbeat, headaches, severe fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and swelling in the ankles feet or belly sometimes these symptoms are inaccurately dismissed as a normal consequence of aging.
Women may also experience different symptoms than men with the same disease additionally compared with men women with symptoms tend to see a healthcare professional later and are less likely to be seen by a heart specialist women are also treated later and too often have their symptoms misdiagnosed as anxiety early detection of valve disease is critical and can save lives so women experiencing symptoms should see a healthcare professional right away.
A health care professional may suspect heart valve disease if abnormal heartbeats or murmurs are heard through a stethoscope or if their patient complains of symptoms further testing may be necessary to confirm valve disease.
Some valve diseases do not need treatment but should be monitored regularly other valve diseases may require valve repair or replacement in most cases this is the only way to effectively treat the disease in some cases remodeling valve tissue or repairing scarred valve leaflets may help them open more easily, in cases where valves are severely damaged heart valve replacement surgery may be recommended for most patients.
The risk of complications from replacement are low no matter what their age however for patients with other diseases and conditions that make them poor candidates for surgery less invasive procedures are now available more than 60% of heart valve replacements are performed in women can have different surgical outcomes than men so it’s important to discuss risks with a healthcare professional.
The selection of a new valve the Mechanical or Tissue may depend on the woman’s age and body size recognizing the symptoms of heart valve disease is critical to effective treatment if you have a heart murmur or other symptoms of valve disease talk to your healthcare professional discuss your family and medical history medications and any symptoms you may be experiencing if you have been diagnosed with heart valve disease be sure to discuss the best treatment options.
Heart disease causes and symptoms?
Doctor’s noticed a disturbing trend in a particular segment of our population we are seeing a little bit of you sometimes younger women in their 40s they have the what we call is the syndrome X they have obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia so we are seeing a significant segment of that population show up in the clinic with heart disease I do feel a lot of it is related to obesity that we are seeing particularly in certain segments in women there is some ethnic prevalence seeing more in Hispanic women we are seeing women who are what we would call obese.
Symptoms of heart disease for men and women can vary but most commonly involved:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Faster heartbeat
- Weakness or Dizziness
- Nausea or Sweating
Women may experience more subtle signs that can sometimes be overlooked or mistaken for other issues. Some of the more ones are just feeling of extreme fatigue shortness of breath lack of energy and just feeling and in some acute case it’s just a sense of gloom and doom which is when they’re actually having in a heart attack that if a woman is having these symptoms on a consistent basis she certainly should be concerned that it could represent significant heart disease and she needs to be evaluated for the same.
Heart disease prevention?
Heart disease prevention Nearly 2,500 people will die every day due to heart disease but it is our lifestyle that is killing us. One reason heart disease is so common is because of this issue of Abdominal fat. Abdominal fat is different than fat else where in our body these fat cells produce molecules or hormones that can go into our genes and turn on bad genes, turn on a gene for high blood pressure, turn on a gene for diabetes, turn on a gene that can disrupt cholesterol in the tab listen, and when these genes are turned on is like a light switch.
We have heart disease the next thing you know you’re in an ambulance with crushing chest pain being rushed to the hospital now in the hospital there are many life-saving medications procedures to open those blocked heart arteries but once the person recovers and returns home if they do not change their lifestyle those procedures were merely aband-aid.
We spend 2 trillion dollars every year on health care yet 75% of all those expenditures are spent on there results of our poor nutrition and lack of regular exercise we can do better as individuals and we can do better as a society enough talk let’s go exercise. So the latest statistics show that many people have taken this message to heart they’re exercising more regularly yes a third are not exercising but a third are at least occasionally and one-third has really gotten the message they’re exercising regularly you’ll never guess what group has really taken this message to heart it’s our elderly population yes our senior citizens they’re exercising more than any time in history so challenge yourself and make it fun see what your body can do.
Heart disease prevention Not only does our body crave exercise it craves good healthy food but there’s the rub we say we don’t have enough time to eat healthily so we resort to process food, fast foods we actually do have the time is just a matter of priority setting it does not have to be complicated sauteing vegetables just takes literally a few minutes put a fish fillet in the oven broil it you can have a wonderfully delicious dinner ready in just 30 minutes celebrate food to enjoy it don’t be at odds with it.
I cannot talk about heart health without talking about the power of love joy appreciation you see these are very important concepts the brain communicates with the heart it can send healthy messages or concern healthy messages the power of love laughter has actually been shown to favorably express healthy genes so enjoy celebrate have fun appreciate something or someone.
what is cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease involves abnormalities of the heart and blood vessels. Coronary heart disease is the most common condition and is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.
The lifetime risk for developing significant cardiovascular disease is greater than the likelihood of developing cancer. Your heart is a muscular pump that requires heart arteries to supply oxygen-rich blood to keep it going.
Coronary heart disease occurs when these blood vessels become narrowed due to a buildup of plaque. The plaque is made up of cholesterol and other substances. This process is called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs over a lifetime and is influenced by risk factors.
Some risk factors can’t be changed, however, others can be altered through healthy lifestyle choices and medications if needed. Symptoms of coronary heart disease occur when the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen.
Some describe this as chest pressure or chest pain that starts over the left chest and can radiate or travel to the left arm, left jaw, back, or sometimes to the right chest. Some patients do not have any chest pain or pressure symptoms, but instead, have intense shortness of breath or epigastric discomfort that can feel like bad heartburn. Breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, or sweats can also sometimes be associated. These symptoms are called angina.
There are many treatments for angina, including medications, angioplasty and stents, and bypass surgery. Aggressive risk factor modification is part of every treatment plan. Coronary heart disease can have serious complications, including heart attacks and even sudden death. Fortunately, developing significant coronary heart disease is largely preventable.
Early prevention is best, but you can still improve how you’ll do no matter how old you are by reducing your risk factors. One study found that 50-year-old people who had not already developed significant cardiovascular disease and didn’t have major risk factors reduced their lifetime risk for developing significant cardiovascular disease, and they lived longer.