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World Heart Day 2020: Men or Women, who face greater risk of heart disease?

Reports also state that the symptoms of a heart attack could be different in both genders; women can develop symptoms that are subtler and harder to detect.

Image for representation

Edited By

Riddhima Kanetkar

Updated: Sep 29, 2020, 03:09 PM IST

Over the years, multiple kinds of research have concluded that heart disease impacts men and women differently. It has been noted that in the younger age groups, men are at a far higher risk of heart disease than women; on an average, while the disease strikes men at 65 years of age, women may experience it when they are closer to 72 years.
In recent years, scientists have poured over an immense amount of data to understand this phenomenon better; as more and more data is being made available, it is observed that predisposing factors have evolved and an increasing number of women are known to be at a higher risk of Cardio-Vascular diseases as early as in their 40s.
While it has not been certainly established why middle-aged men suffer more heart attacks than women in the same age group, shared risk factors between the two genders include high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, high cholesterol levels, adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity, and stress, says Dr Satish Jawli, Consultant, Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund and Kalyan.
“As for women, gender-specific diseases like Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD), Endometriosis, coupled with pregnancy triggered Diabetes and high blood pressure increases the risk of Heart disease. According to Cleveland Clinic, Endometriosis has been found to raise the risk of developing CAD by 400 percent in women under 40 years of age,” he points out.
Reports also state that the symptoms of a heart attack could be different in both genders; women can develop symptoms that are subtler and harder to detect — making it easier to be missed out or ignored. 
He says what is of prime importance is to: protect oneself, undergo regular health-checks & highlight any unusual symptoms to your doctor, especially if you are at an early risk.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, the heart health of both genders is at stake, and those with cardiac diseases have been noted to have had a prolonged and more stressful recovery. So it is even more imperative now to care for oneself and our families, don’t delay, start now — speak to your doctor about managing your heart health.

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