Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Each
year, approximately 600,000 people will die of heart disease, nearly half of them women. And yet many still believe that heart disease is a man’s disease. It’s not.
There are some possible differences, however, between men and women when it comes to heart disease.
Brian Shortal, MD, Cardiologist at NorthShore, discusses these differences and the heart disease risk factors that are the same for everyone:
Age. Men are considered at cardiovascular risk starting at 40. Women, on the other hand, are considered at cardiac risk starting at 50. That does not mean that women under the age of 50 have no risk for heart disease, so any symptoms should
not be disregarded. The incidence of heart disease between men and women equalizes around 65, and studies then show that women actually begin to surpass heart disease events in comparison to men.
Symptoms. Typically, men exhibit more classic cardiac symptoms, including pain across the chest that radiates down the arms, back and jaw, and shortness of breath. Women might display more atypical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness
and syncope (fainting/temporary loss of consciousness). In fact, the most common symptom in women over 80 is not chest pain but shortness of breath.
Risk Factors. The risk factors are the same for both men and women. The major risk factors for coronary artery disease are hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, family history of heart disease, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
If you think you might be at risk, see your physician for more information.
Do you know your risk for heart disease?
A common condition amongst both young and old women is pelvic organ prolapse. This condition happens when the uterus
or vagina gets displaced and drops down.
While many women tend to ignore or live with this often disfiguring and uncomfortable condition, it can also lead to other problems including recurring bladder infections, difficulty emptying bowels and have a negative effect on sexual activity.
Dr. Tomezsko explains the various lines of treatments for prolapse:
According to Dr. Tomezsko, the majority of women can have great improvement with the rehab and non-surgical options.
With all of the pelvic health conditions we have discussed this week, it is important for women to know that many conservative, non-invasive treatment plans exist for these common and chronic conditions.
Did you find the pelvic health information posted this week to be helpful? What other related topics might you be interested in learning more about?