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Heart disease: A “man's disease” no more!

by , 30 December 2013

Women are no longer at a lower risk of developing heart disease than their male counterparts. With a change in lifestyle, women's risk has increased, and experts are now saying the risks of heart disease of men compared to women are on par.

Because women focus more on breast and cervical cancer risks, heart disease risks have snuck up on us. 
 
Women must be educated and provided with the insight into what the risks of heart disease are. You change your lifestyle when you know the risks.
 
Women’s misconceptions of their risk of heart disease
 
Women think that their risk of developing a chronic disease is as follows (from highest to lower risk):
 
#1: Breast cancer
#2: Unspecified cancers
#3: HIV/AIDS
#5: Uterine/ovarian cancer
 
Here’s what the experts say it really is:
 
#1: Heart disease
#3: Unspecified cancers
#4: Uterine/ovarian cancer
#5: HIV/AIDS 
 
Why heart disease in women has been hidden
 
It seems that there’s been a bit of gender bias when it comes to heart disease. 
 
 
The pain they experience in a heart attack doesn’t fit the standard crushing chest pain that men get. Women complain of a pain over the stomach area just under the ribs. They say they can’t breathe and are nauseous.
 
The diagnosis: Anxiety, indigestion, gall bladder problems or abdominal pain.  
 
Women then take medication for these symptoms and are then more likely to die of a heart attack as it’s actually gone without treatment. 
 
Fortunately, with new research and developing technology, this is changing. 
 
Ensure that you get the correct diagnosis, know the symptoms of heart disease
 
If you feel like there’s something wrong and your doctor can’t find anything, you need to get a second opinion. 
Make sure that you’re explaining your symptoms as best you can. Do some reading as to how you can describe what you’re feeling. 
 
Ask a lot of questions.
 
Your health is your life; you have a right to the correct treatment and knowing what’s going on inside your body. 
 

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