Beware! We are not taking care of our hearts

We invite women to learn about the warning signs of a heart attack that need to be considered to seek help from a specialist

Are women really taking care of their hearts?

A heart attack occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart are partially or totally blocked, which reduces blood flow and damages the heart muscle. According to El Confidencial, heart attacks continue to be the leading cause of death worldwide. In fact, seven million people die each year because of a heart attack.

Leer en español: Mujeres ¿Realmente estamos cuidando nuestro corazón?

Only in Colombia, for every woman who dies from breast cancer, 20 die from a heart attack. In addition, the Colombian Society of Cardiology and the Colombian Heart Foundation show that in the world every minute a woman dies from a sick heart.

According to a statement by the American Heart Association, heart attacks in women have different causes and risks than in men, especially due to the lack of knowledge about the symptoms and the disparity in access to treatments.

The problem, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Leeds in the UK, is that doctors give us less diagnostic tests, offer us fewer treatments and perform fewer surgeries.

Only in the spirit of showing the seriousness of the situation, here are some relevant figures: women represent only about one in five participants in clinical trials of cardiovascular disease, we are 34% less likely to have medical procedures to deal with clogged arteries and we wait at least 54 hours to receive treatment.

In addition, there are racial differences between the women themselves. Black women, for example, have more heart attacks than white women and, together with Hispanics, are more likely to have risk factors related to the heart, such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

The official policy is that all these treatments should be administered to both men and women, but the problem is not one of gender inequality but of gaps in the knowledge of symptomatology, which lead to a difficult diagnosis.

It may interest you: Prevention is the solution to the health crisis in Latin America

Listening to our body instead of attributing symptoms to conditions less dangerous to life, such as acid reflux, flu or normal aging, could save our lives; so knowing the warning signs is essential. Some women who experience a heart attack describe the pressure in their upper back that feels like tightening a rope tied around them.

Apart from chest pain, there are unusual symptoms such as arm, neck or jaw pain and dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness or fainting. Being agitated more easily by doing activities that you previously did without much difficulty can also be a sign that something is wrong.

On the other hand, sweating more than usual, especially if you are not making any effort, can be an indicator of heart-related problems, according to Dr. and specialist JB Muhlestein.

It is worth noting that by just quitting smoking, walking 30 minutes a day, changing the diet to a healthier diet and having control appointments, you reduce the risk of heart disease, coronary heart disease and stroke by half.

This is why, as with other diseases, we invite women to become aware of the dangers that heart disease represents for their well-being and to learn about these and other warning signs that should be taken into account to seek help from a specialist.

LatinAmerican Post | Editorial Team

Translated from "Mujeres ¿Realmente estamos cuidando nuestro corazón? "

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