Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in women around the world, Unfortunately as women present differently than women, it is often misdiagnosed and this increases mortality. The most common heart attack symptom in women is some type of chest pain a (often described as pressure or tightness) along with any of the following symptoms:

  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue

Women tend to have blockages not only in their main arteries but also to the smaller areas that supply blood to the heart (small vessel heart disease). Women’s symptoms can also occur at rest and when they are in sleep

The pictorial graph represents the ratio of men to women with heart disease. The number of women presenting with heart disease is more than men after the age of menopause. This sis mainly due to the loss of heart protection when the estrogen levels drop.

Women have a higher risk of coronary heart disease as they get older as compared to men

Age of women Risk of infarctions caused by Atherosclerosis

Ratio in Women: Men

< 45 1:40
45-64 1:3
>65 1:1.2

Framingham Data