According to studies, the proportion of young women having more heart attacks than men is increasing. Find out the causes and impact.
Heart disease treatment has come a long way in the past couple of decades thanks to new medications and knowledge. According to a 2018 study in Circulation, the overall rate of heart disease in the U.S. has declined by 38% since 1990.
However, it’s not all good news: a new study shows that hospitalization rates for women with heart attacks have increased significantly. Moreover, this isn’t the only study suggesting the increased risk for young women – and doctors are figuring out why.
Heart Health and Young Women
While experts don’t yet know the cause, they noticed that hypertension and diabetes rates have also increased. In addition, they found that heart disease may be hitting young black women especially hard.
Also, co-author Melissa Caughey, Ph.D., a research instructor at UNC School of Medicine, explains that obesity can lead to hypertension and diabetes. According to Viola Vaccarino, MD, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Emory University, the study also suggests that women are being under-treated for heart disease risk factors.
Finally, since women tend to experience heart attacks differently than men, they may not even recognize it when it’s happening. “Women are more likely to report back pain, nausea, sweating, lightheadedness, or dizziness… rather than chest pains,” explains David Goff, MD, director of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Physicians may not think it’s a heart attack at first and women may be told that they have anxiety or another problem.
What It All Means
There were some promising trends in the study: young women were less likely to smoke and more likely to have health insurance. “I don’t think [heart disease] is anything for young women to panic over, but I do think [the study is] a warning sign that maybe women of this generation are not as healthy as those of previous generations were,” says Caughey.
Nevertheless, Goff offers some pushback on this idea. “One out of four women in our country will die of heart disease, and 60% will have a major cardiovascular event before they die,” he explains. “This means that none of us can really ignore our heart health – whether you’re older and overweight or you’re young and lean and otherwise healthy.”
Improving Heart Health
To prevent the risk of heart disease, young women (and individuals in general) can exercise more, eat healthier, and avoid smoking. Furthermore, doctors need to look out for symptoms of heart disease in young women to treat it before it gets worse.
People who want to boost their heart health can also take supplements like HeartBeet Complete. Its formula contains ingredients that effectively promote circulation, energy levels, and overall heart health.
If you’re a young woman, consider knowing the symptoms and risk factors of heart disease. And if you want to support your heart health, consider taking HeartBeet Complete.