According to the American Heart Association, more than half of heart disease patients who pass away each year are women. This is because aging increases the risk of developing heart problems and the decrease in estrogen production brought on by menopause. Below are common heart problems that women must be on the lookout for as they grow older and how to deal with them.
Safeguard Yourself Against Coronary Heart Disease
In the U.S., the number 1 killer of women is coronary heart disease. It’s characterized by plaque buildup along the arterial walls. When this buildup hardens, it could narrow arteries, and in turn, restrict blood flow to the heart. Your risk of developing coronary heart disease increases during menopause with the increase of blood pressure, cholesterols levels, and fat deposits in your abdominal area.
In addition, risk factors include taking birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy for managing menopausal symptoms. It’s vital to note that in women, coronary heart disease is usually mistaken as hypochondria or stress, and it doesn’t help that most women tend to downplay their symptoms, such as fatigue and shortness of breath, and ascribe it to aging. But be warned; seek medical help at a facility specializing in cardiology in Heber right away if you feel unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control
The risk of developing high blood pressure increases after menopause due to the fact that hormonal changes make your blood pressure extra responsive to salts. That said, you need to have your blood pressure checked regularly to make sure that it’s within the normal range or if you might have to take blood pressure maintenance medications.
Watch Out for Peculiar Heartbeats
Atrial fibrillation or afib is the most common kind of heart arrhythmia that could lead to heart failure and stroke. You can reduce your risk of developing this condition by keeping your blood pressure in check, exercising, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing your cholesterol levels. If you have afib, it’s crucial that you discuss the most appropriate treatment options for you, which might include surgical ablation and medications.
Understand Stroke Risk Factors Specific to Women
According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is more prevalent in women than in men. While men and women share certain stroke risk factors like smoking, diabetes and obesity, some stroke risk factors are specific to women. These include fat around the stomach, using contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapy, and high cholesterol levels. Again, a healthy and active lifestyle is key to reduce your risk of stroke.
Fortunately, despite the changes and challenges that aging and menopause can bring, you can make certain lifestyle changes and take measures to prevent these heart problems. The usual rules apply: maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and a healthy diet, keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check, and stop smoking. And don’t forget to go to your doctor for regular checkups, even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms.