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Women and Cardiac Disease

Dr Narayan Gadkar, Cardiologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital

One in 3 women die of cardiovascular disease, compared to 1 in 31 women who die of breast cancer. While the actual numbers of deaths from heart disease have declined among both men and women, more women die of cardiovascular disease each year than men. In fact, rates of heart disease among younger women (aged 35 to 54) are actually increasing, a trend thought to be attributable to obesity.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women. On average, women develop cardiovascular disease, on average, about 10 years later than men. It is thought that this difference is at least partially due to protective hormonal effects because women’s risk increases after menopause. Women who undergo early menopause, either due to surgical removal of their ovaries or premature ovarian failure, have similar rates of cardiovascular disease as age-matched men. Most women have one or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

There are notable differences in the types of heart disease that affect men and women. Differences exist in the underlying mechanisms of their heart disease, the symptoms that they present, and the types of complications they experience. There are also differences in the comprehensiveness of the medical care men and women receive and the …

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