Women and Heart Disease: Statistics and Current Treatment
According to Peters, Huxley, & Woodward (2014), heart disease is the leading killer of women not only in the United States but also across the world. However, the number is significantly huge in the United States whereby for every four deaths among women, at least one is found to have heard a heart problem. This is in contrast to the misconception of men being highly susceptible to heart disease. Heart disease is more prevalent among African American women and white and only second after cancer among other races such as Hispanic women, American Indians, and Mexican American women in the U.S. Goldman, Troisi, & Rexrode, (2012) research shows a similar number of deaths due to heart disease among women and men in the U.S. and due to the alarming increase on the same, the government has consistently engaged its citizens on numerous sensitization campaigns where both men and women are made aware of heart diseases as the number one killer in the contemporary world especially among women. This mobilization exercise is aimed at educating women to understand how fatal the diseases is and be able to detect signs and symptoms of heart diseases in a bid to seek medical aid as soon as possible. The treatment of heart disease may include change of lifestyle, use of drugs, surgical and medical procedures, and cardiac therapy. Therefore, this paper explicates broadly about heart disease among women paying key attention on statistics and prevailing treatment approaches available.
There are several known types of heart disease including broken heart syndrome, coronary microvascular disease, and coronary heart disease. However, the latter is the commonest known number one killer among women. According to Acton (2013), coronary heart diseases involves a buildup of plaque made up of fat, calcium, and cholesterol within the interior walls of the coronary arteries thereby blocking enough blood rich in oxygen to pass to the heart a condition known as atherosclerosis. Consequently, this causes a feeling of discomfort due to persistent pain. Unfortunately, a rapture of the plaque may occur forming a blood clot that will ultimately block blood from flowing thus causing a heart attack. Pain and discomfort on the chest may be a symptom of heart disease but in some women, this among other symptoms may not even show and thus one may not even know that they have a heart problem. However, certain common symptoms that show in some women include heart attacks, arrhythmia, heart failure, and stroke. Nabel & Braunwald (2012) unveil that, the key risk factors among at least 45% American women include diabetes, excessive consumption of alcohol, physical inactivity, and overweight among others.
The current available heart disease treatments include change of lifestyle, use of drugs, surgical and medical procedures, and cardiac therapy. More importantly is the objectives of treatment, which include prevention of heart disease complications, relieving of symptoms, lowering the risk of blood clotting within the arteries and veins, and reducing further risk factors as well as to save lives. According to Peters, Huxley, & Woodward (2014), there are over one million Australian women who possess not less than four risk factors for heart disease whereby only one for every three women has ever had a heart health check with their doctors. Depending on the severity and type of heart diseases, the patient agrees with his or her doctor on the best treatment option available and affordable. For instance, Goldman, Troisi, & Rexrode, (2012) explain that, medical procedures and surgery may be opted to treat coronary heart disease by angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting. Alternatively, the patient may be advised to undergo a cardiac therapy, which involves exercise training and education or counseling in a bid to improve the health of a patient after a heart attack or angioplasty. Additionally, change of lifestyle such as quitting smoking, engaging in a good diet, and avoiding alcohol may help to treat a heart disease as well as reduce the risk factors of developing a heart disease. However, if change of lifestyle does not help to improve the health of a patient, it is advised to seek the help of a medical doctor who may recommend the use of medicines or drugs in a bid to treat heart disease. Notably, Becker et al., (2014) explain that, prescribed medicines help to alleviate upsurge of fluid, ease the problem of blood pressure, avoid clotting of blood, and control stress hormones.
In conclusion, it should be noted that heart disease can be prevented and the several myths surrounding heart disease especially among women are not always true. In most countries such as America, Australia, Canada, and UK among others, heart disease has been singled out as the biggest killer than cancer among women. More than 40 per cent of women die of heart disease without their knowledge simply because, the diseases does not necessarily manifest itself in the aforementioned symptoms. Therefore, there is need to sensitize people on the need to visit their healthcare providers regularly in a bid to check on their heart conditions and prevent more future deaths due to heart diseas
Acton, Q. A. (2013). Heart Diseases—Advances in Research and Treatment. New York: ScholarlyEditions.
Becker, M., Hundemer, A., Zwicker, C., Altiok, E., Krohn, T., & Mottaghy, F. M. (2014). Detection of coronary artery disease in postmenopausal women: the significance of integrated stress imaging tests in a 4-year prognostic study. Springer , 258-271.
Goldman, M. B., Troisi, R., & Rexrode, K. M. (2012). Women and Health. Chicago: Academic Press.
Nabel, E. G., & Braunwald, E. (2012). A Tale of Coronary Artery Disease and Myocardial Infarction. The New England Journal of Medicine , 54-63.
Peters, S. A., Huxley, R. R., & Woodward, M. (2014). Diabetes as risk factor for incident coronary heart disease in women compared with men: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 64 cohorts including 858,507 individuals and 28,203 coronary events. Springer , 1542-1551.