Sudden cardiac arrest
is when the heart unexpectedly stops beating, restricting blood flow to all the other vital body parts. If proper medical attention is not received, this can result in the death of a person within a few minutes. A sudden cardiac arrest is called so because it’s sudden and one does not have much time to seek help, unlike one may have during a heart attack. Difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack
Many people think cardiac arrest and heart attack are the same but it’s not so. The basic difference between both is that during a heart attack, blood flow stops in a particular part of the heart and thus, damages it. However, in cardiac arrest, it’s an electrical problem where the heart stops working all together leaving the person with no pulse and unconscious. Read more to know the difference: Pragya’s story link. Heart disease more common in women
Chances of sudden cardiac arrest are more in people already suffering from heart disease. But the cases are no less in people who appear absolutely healthy and have no known history of heart disease. Cardiac arrest is more common in women than it may seem. Believe it or not, heart disease affects women way more than it does men. You will be shocked to know, according to a report by a leading website, each year about 4,25,000 women have a stroke, which is 55,000 more as compared to men.
The leading actress Sridevi’s demise, which was initially suspected to be due to cardiac arrest, has brought back the topic of women’s heart health back into the discussion. Globally, 1 in every 4 women dies of heart failure as women are less likely to get timely treatment and diagnosis of the disease. Why does heart disease go undetected in women?
But the question that arises here is why does that happen? Why does heart disease go undetected in women and how the case of a heart disease in women
is any different from men? The main reason behind this is that symptoms in men are more evident than they are in women. In men, a heart attack would mean an extreme and sudden chest pain and breaking out in cold sweats. In women, on the other hand, heart attacks can be much frequent and smaller. Many women don’t even know that they have already suffered one or two heart attacks in the past until eventually, they visit the doctor.
So, it’s by the physiognomy of their bodies that the symptoms in women are mild. The symptoms can be anything from jaw pain to fatigue to sweating or sometimes just a heartburn or pain in neck and back. What is more problematic is the wrong diagnosis. If women visit the doctor with symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath, the cause of these symptoms may be trivialized by saying that they are due to stress or fatigue.
Risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest in post menstrual women include higher pulse, African American race, higher waist to hip ratio and increased white blood cell count. 50 per cent of women who experienced sudden cardiac arrest had no history of coronary heart disease.
Women are most susceptible to heart disease between two age brackets
The first is the age group of 40-50. 40-50 is the age of high risk because of three reasons; first, women are in the menopausal stage at this time and their hormones are no more protecting their health; second, the pressure of work and family may be the most and third, loneliness as children usually leave home for college, office or get married by this time.
The second bar is around 60. The biological deterioration of the body makes this age risky for men too.
Why are women themselves also responsible?
In India, unlike most men, women have some added responsibility, like looking after kids and parents as well. While trying to maintain everything else, they forget their own needs and end up neglecting their health. Our societal brought up demands women to maintain work and home both. Women have not been taught to take care of themselves in this patriarchal set up. But thankfully, things are changing among the younger generations and women are learning to put themselves first.