What factors contribute to the higher likelihood of women dying from a heart attack compared to men

Why Are Women More Likely To Die From A Heart Attack Than Men
Why Are Women More Likely To Die From A Heart Attack Than Men

A heart attack stands as one of the most dreaded health issues, characterized by its unpredictable nature and potential life-threatening consequences for the patient. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports approximately 1.79 crore deaths from Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) in 2019, with 85% attributed to heart attacks and strokes. Regrettably, women are identified as more susceptible to fatal heart attacks compared to men, owing to several contributing factors.

Do women face a greater risk of death from heart attacks compared to men

Are Women At A Higher Risk Of Heart Attack Deaths Than Men?

In a study published in the journal Circulation in 2020, researchers found that women face a 20% higher risk of developing heart failure or dying within five years following a severe heart attack compared to men.

Furthermore, research presented at the Heart Failure 2023 congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) indicated that women are twice as likely to die after experiencing a heart attack as men.

Dr. Mariana Martinho, the author of the study and affiliated with Hospital Garcia de Orta in Almada, Portugal, emphasized the heightened risk for women of all ages who suffer from a myocardial infarction. Dr. Martinho stressed the importance of regular monitoring post-heart event, including strict control of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes, as well as referral to cardiac rehabilitation. She also highlighted the rising prevalence of smoking among young women, advocating for interventions to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

Additionally, Dr. Dixit Garg, Consultant Interventional Cardiology at Manipal Hospital in Gurugram, outlined common risk factors associated with heart attacks in women, as follows:

  • Common risk factors associated with heart attacks in women include hormonal changes, notably during menopause; pregnancy-related complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia; the use of hormonal contraceptives, particularly when combined with smoking; as well as prevalent autoimmune diseases in women, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.s

Differences exist in how heart attack symptoms manifest between men and women

How Heart Attack Symptoms Differ In Men And Women

Dr. Garg highlights that heart attack symptoms can present differently in men and women. While men tend to experience classic symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort, women may exhibit more subtle signs like shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, or pain in the jaw, back, or neck. This variation often leads to delayed or misdiagnosed cases in women.

Factors That Increase the Risk of Heart Attacks

Both men and women can share some common risk factors for heart attack, which include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity

Methods for Lowering the Risk

Ways To Reduce The Risk

To reduce the risk of heart attacks, here are some heart-healthy lifestyle choices to adopt:

  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Managing stress
  • Avoiding tobacco

“Women, especially, need to prioritize managing conditions such as diabetes and stay informed about the effects of hormonal changes on their heart health,” recommended Dr. Garg.

“Regular check-ups and timely attention to symptoms can play a crucial role in prevention,” he emphasized.