International Womens Day: 7 Lifestyle Strategies To Reduce Risk Of Heart Attacks In Women

International Womens Day: 7 Lifestyle Strategies To Reduce Risk Of Heart Attacks In Women

Women’s health is multifaceted, encompassing reproductive health, mental well-being, physical fitness, and more. Unfortunately, women’s heart health often receives insufficient attention, despite cardiovascular diseases being the leading cause of death in women worldwide. As we celebrate Women’s Day this month, it is crucial to shed light on the necessity of understanding, advocating for, and improving cardiac health in women.

Dr Narasimha Pai, Consultant Cardiology, KMC Hospital, Mangalore says, “Many women are unaware of their symptoms or do not pay heed to warning signs. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, indigestion, or jaw pain are often neglected, leading to missed opportunities for timely medical attention. Emphasis on regular visits to health providers, education about risk factors and warning signs, and access to adequate health literacy resources are crucial.”

Unique Risk Factors for Women

Heart diseases can affect women differently than men, with risk factors often manifesting in distinct ways. Here are some common risk factors as shared by Dr Narasimha that women need to be careful of:

– Some risk factors affect both genders equally, including elevated blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and obesity.

– Women face additional challenges such as hormonal fluctuations (e.g., Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), pregnancy-related complications (e.g., Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia), autoimmune diseases, and mental health issues (e.g., depression).

– Other risk factors for women include perimenopause and menopause, smoking, alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyle, increased screen time, and stress.

– A study by Vaishnav et al. showed a high prevalence of these risk factor behaviors in young women, particularly in metropolitan cities, indicating a looming cardiovascular crisis.

Also Read: Impact Of Mental Health On Female Sexual Wellness, Experts Share Facts

7 Lifestyle Changes Women Can Make For Better Health

Here are some lifestyle changes women can improve their heart health as told by Dr Narasimha Pai:

– Many risk factors can be modified through early detection and lifestyle changes, offering hope for improved heart health.

– Encouraging women to adopt heart-healthy habits is crucial, starting with a balanced diet.

– A diet rich in fibers, antioxidants, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy carbohydrates and fats is recommended.

– It’s important to avoid added sugars, saturated fats, and excess salt in the diet.

– Regular physical activity is key, with a focus on strength training and brisk walking.

– Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption are essential for reducing the risk of cardiac diseases.

– Mindfulness and yoga are beneficial practices for reducing stress, which in turn benefits heart health.

As we commemorate World Women’s Day this month, let us recommit to advancing women’s health. Providing awareness about the growing dangers of cardiac diseases, advocating for lifestyle modifications, raising awareness through education, breaking down healthcare barriers, and empowering women to prioritize their health are essential steps toward ensuring that all women can live prosperous and heart-healthy lives.

Also Read: 7 Hidden Risks Related To Obesity Every Woman Planning For Pregnancy Should Know

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