Whilst there are several well-known factors, like lifestyle, nutrition, and stress, researchers believe certain gender-specific causes for the early beginning of cardiovascular disease within women.
Multiple deaths from cardiac arrest and heart attack have occurred in the previous couple of months in age categories that are not typically associated with heart disease. Puneeth Rajkumar (46), a Kannada actor, suffered a heart attack within October 2021, and Andhra Pradesh Industries and Information Technology Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy (50), suffered cardiac arrest just this week.
Rachana, a Radio Mirchi RJ, died on February 22, 2022, in Bengaluru, after suffering a heart arrest at the age of 39. Whilst doctors have long been aware of the early beginning of cardiovascular disease (CVD) within younger men, within the last 5-10 years, many have noticed the same within women in their 30s and 40s – an age bracket wherein this was previously unheard of.
“Heart attacks have increased in women aged 35-50 years due to several reasons including lifestyle, diet, and stress. The US has recorded a 10-15% increase; the number is similar for India,” states Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. R Anantharaman.
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What causes cardiovascular disease in young women?
While there are some well-known risk factors for CVDs in women, like a sedentary lifestyle, hypertension, poor diet, and diabetes, scientists believe certain gender-specific characteristics exist.
Furthermore, due to various factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in women coming with hypertension and blood pressure concerns in the previous two years.
Stress, lack of physical activity, worry, and working from home with domestic labor are some variables.
What to do?
According to Dr Divya, women frequently come with unusual heart attack symptoms. This, coupled with a lack of attention to women’s health, delays diagnosis. “Symptoms like chest pain are better known. But women often present with giddiness, extreme fatigue, and shortness of breath. For instance, if you’re having shortness of breath after climbing one flight of stairs, and this is a recent development, you should get a medical check-up.”
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