What are the reasons behind and how do symptoms of cardiovascular diseases vary between men and women

Why and How Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases Differ In Men and Women
Why and How Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases Differ In Men and Women

Although the human body performs similar functions, its operation can vary among individuals. Similarly, while heart diseases may share commonalities, the signs and symptoms can manifest differently, particularly between men and women. One primary factor contributing to this discrepancy is the inherent differences in the cardiovascular systems of men and women. It’s often overlooked, but women typically have smaller hearts and narrower blood vessels compared to men. Consequently, the development and presentation of symptoms differ between the genders.

The manifestation of cardiovascular disease symptoms differs between men and women due to inherent physiological distinctions

The physiological and anatomical differences between male and female bodies result in variations in functions as well. Despite these differences, diagnostics and treatment are often standardized across genders.

Cholesterol buildup

Heart attacks occur when cholesterol accumulates around the arteries, disrupting blood flow and damaging blood vessels. However, the location of cholesterol buildup differs between men and women, contributing to variations in the occurrence of heart disease. In women, cholesterol tends to accumulate in the smallest blood vessels of the heart (microvasculature), while in men, it occurs in the largest arteries responsible for supplying blood to the heart.

Symptoms of cardiovascular diseases can differ based on various factors

Let us now tell you the difference between symptoms of different heart diseases in men and women.

Symptoms of heart attack

A heart attack occurs when the heart abruptly stops receiving blood flow. Warning signs typically include chest pain, which may extend to the back, arms, shoulders, and jaw.

Notably, women often experience additional symptoms such as nausea, lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, and breathing difficulties during a heart attack. Research indicates that men are more prone to experiencing heart attacks at a younger age, while women tend to experience them, on average, seven years later. Men with a history of smoking, alcohol consumption, and a family predisposition to heart diseases face double the risk compared to others.

Symptoms of heart failure

Heart failure, unlike a heart attack, is a chronic condition that progresses gradually. It occurs when the heart cannot pump blood efficiently. The primary symptom of heart failure is initially shortness of breath, accompanied by extreme fatigue, muscle wasting, and sudden weight loss. Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is more prevalent in older adults than in younger ones. Anyone experiencing dyspnea should promptly seek medical assistance to prevent severe complications.

Studies have revealed that women often experience more physical and psychological symptoms of heart failure compared to men. In many cases, women report symptoms such as pain, nausea, heart palpitations, sweating, edema, and nervousness, in addition to breathing difficulties and anxiety.

Symptoms of stroke

When your brain is unable to get sufficient amount of blood, it runs out of oxygen. This also occurs due to irregular heart functions. The quality of life and overall wellness gets affected post stroke. It is crucial to identify and attend to the symptoms of stroke. The warning signs of stroke include dizziness, weakness, confusion, inability to balance, problem in speech, blurred vision, etc. Women experience more prominent symptoms than men.