There’s no coincidence that February is American Heart Month, at least in my mind. The link between heart disease and Valentine’s Day might be somewhat contrived, but both deal with the heart: one is physical and the other emotional, but the emotions can affect the heart and vice-versa, so I think they are linked. And so does the American Heart Association, who sent me a card yesterday and prompted me to do the posting right away!
From this website: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coronary-heart-disease we learn that
“Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. About 80% of women ages 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for coronary heart disease. Having multiple risk factors significantly increases a woman’s chance of developing coronary heart disease.”
Here are the four areas the website discusses to answer the questions:
Why does coronary heart disease affect women differently?
*Hormonal changes affect a woman’s risk for coronary heart disease.
*The size and structure of the heart is different for women and men. A woman’s heart and blood vessels are smaller, and the muscular walls of women’s hearts are thinner.
*Women are more likely to have harder-to-diagnose non-obstructive coronary heart disease or coronary microvascular disease.
What factors affect risk for women differently?
Some factors raise women’s risk for coronary heart disease more than they increase risk in men.
- Low levels of HDL cholesterol
- Mild to moderate high blood pressure
Can symptoms differ for women?
Although men and women can experience the same symptoms of coronary heart disease, women often experience no symptoms or have different symptoms than men do.
- Activity that brings on chest pain. In men, angina tends to worsen with physical activity and go away with rest. Women are more likely than men to have angina while they are resting.
- Location and type of pain. Pain symptoms are different for each person. Women having angina or a heart attack often describe their chest pain as crushing, or they say it feels like pressure, squeezing, or tightness. Women may have pain in the chest or the neck and throat.
- Mental stress. Mental stress is more likely to trigger angina pain in women than in men.
- Other symptoms. Common signs and symptoms for women include nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, sleep problems, , and lack of energy.
What do women need to know about diagnosis and treatment?
*Ask about treatment options that are effective for men and women
*Know and share your risk factors.
*Learn the symptoms and seek medical care right away.
Finally, use whatever is useful from the above websites. Maybe Valentine’s Day is a good time
to explore loving yourself enough to take care of your heart!
♥♥ Happy, Healthy Valentine’s Day! ♥♥
I could not resist using this stock photo of valentines clipped onto a clothesline! es