Heart Health Differences In Men and Women
When It Comes To Their Heart, Men and Women Are NOT Created Equal
It's usually men that take centre-stage for heart disease. It is, after all, the leading cause of death in men worldwide. But it also happens to be the leading cause of death for women too, and that alone deserves some special consideration, especially since much of the diagnosis, treatment, and care for heart disease is often focused on the male body, which can render it less effective in women. But not so at CardioCare Marbella. At our private heart and cardiovascular clinic in Marbella on the Costa del Sol in Spain, our internationally-trained cardiovascular specialists are experts in preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart disease and cardiovascular conditions in both men and women with an in-depth, patient-centric approach that takes every factor of their health -including their sex, into account. Men and women are biologically different and that difference can be reflected in several significant ways when it comes to cardiovascular health. At CardioCare, our cardiovascular doctors and specialists know this and will always take these important differences into consideration whenever consulting with, diagnosing, or treating any of our patients.
Compared with men, women tend to have smaller hearts and narrower blood vessels, which means that women's hearts need to beat faster to get the required amount of blood through their body for optimal cardiovascular health. This means that women are more prone to hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can also increase their risk of heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol in women can potentially be higher or more dangerous, too, because it tends to build up in the smaller vessels in the heart, where men with high cholesterol tend to have this build up in the larger vessels that supply the heart with blood.
It is well-known, too, that women experience different symptoms during a heart attack. Although men usually have the “classic” symptoms of pain or pressure in their chest, women are more likely to experience additional symptoms as well, such as jaw pain, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, backache and extreme fatigue and nausea. Diagnosing a heart attack should be different when it comes to women, too, as the levels of Troponin, the protein that is measured in the blood to confirm a suspected heart attack, are generally lower in women than in men, potentially producing a negative heart attack diagnosis in women, although they are genuinely suffering from a heart attack and experiencing a medical emergency. Important to note, too, is that women are also more likely to have distinct heart diseases that can be mistaken for a heart attack during diagnosis (namely coronary spasms, coronary dissections, or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy).
Finally, and although the exact reasoning why is still under speculation, studies have definitively shown that women who have suffered from endometriosis, pre-eclampsia, or gestational diabetes have a higher overall risk of heart disease and should take extra precautions in living a heart-healthy lifestyle, including regular check-ups.
The important takeaway in all of this is that cardiovascular disease is a serious aspect to both men's and women's health but effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment should always be personalized to the patient's unique medical history, symptoms, lifestyle, and biology. This philosophy is something we hold very close to heart here at the CardioCare heart clinic in Marbella. Our cardiologists are specialized experts in their field in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and continual care of every cardiovascular disease that both men and women face, as well as the differences and unique difficulties men and women have in their heart health and wellness.
Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, please remember that no matter if you're a man or woman, prevention is always the key to a healthy heart, and that starts with regular early detection check-ups. We particularly recommend women to book a cardio check-up as, although their risk of serious illness is comparable to their male counterparts, women have a higher tendency to ignore many of the early detection signs and symptoms of heart disease.
Stay on top of your heart health by easily booking your heart health appointmentat CardioCare via our website, or give our helpful reception staff a call at +34 677 759 003.