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9 months ago
Sridevi dies due to cardiac arrest; a doctor explains why women need to take care of their heart health seriously

While the whole nation is still mourning the death of the evergreen diva Sridevi, who according to media reports passed away due to cardiac arrest, the internet is abuzz with people searching for the difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack. What comes as a shock to many people is that they still harbour the myth that women don’t suffer from heart diseases as much as men do and so death due to cardiac arrest comes as a surprise to many. But experts say that women are equally at risk of heart diseases as men and can experience such episodes that can be near fatal. Here are few unusual risk factors of heart diseases in women. 

While RIP Heart Care Foundation and NCD cell of IMA, condones the death of Padma Shri Awardee Sridevi, Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Immediate Past National President IMA campaign talks about how to prevent sudden cardiac death among women.

Here is all you need to know about sudden cardiac arrest and women’s heart health

Sudden cardiac death in women

A 38-year follow-up from the Framingham Heart study evaluated the incidence of sudden cardiac death in women compared with men

  1. Women had a lower SCD (sudden cardiac death) rate than men at all ages
  2. The risk of sudden death among women with coronary heart disease is one-half than men with coronary heart disease
  3. A higher fraction of sudden deaths in women occur in the absence of any prior overt coronary heart disease which means even if the woman is not suffering from any heart diseases she can still face SCD (63 percent in women versus 44 percent in men) Here is all that you need to know about the cardiac arrest. 
  4. The presence of heart diseases increases overall mortality and the incidences of SCD
  5. However, among patients with heart failure the absolute risk in women is only one-third that of men to suffer from SCD
  6. Phobic, anxiety is associated with an increased risk of SCD in women. Some, but not all, of this risk can be ascribed as CHD (coronary heart diseases) risk factors associated with other lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and elevated serum cholesterol

Heart attack: women vs men

  • The symptoms of heart diseases in women are seen about 10 years later than men
  • Women have a greater risk-factor burden
  • Women are less likely than men to have typical angina
  • Women who reach the emergency room with onset of chest pain are approached and diagnosed less aggressively than men
  • Women have more chances of having angina than heart attack but if they experience an heart attack it could be fatal
  • Many cases of heart attack in women go unrecognized, particularly at younger ages or in patients with diabetes
  • All women with intermediate or higher risk should be evaluated.
  • Treadmill exercise testing has a higher false-positive rate in women (for the diagnosis of obstructive coronary artery disease) Know why women are more prone to heart diseases. 
  • The prevalence of significant coronary disease found at the time of angiography is lower in women than men presenting with chest pain
  • Most women with chest pain and no evidence of blockages on coronary angiography have cardiac syndrome X or microvascular disease, or far more rarely, takotsubo cardiomyopathy or coronary dissection.

Image source: Shutterstock

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