Many women tend to underestimate their chances of developing heart disease and other heart problems. And because of this, they often do not fully understand the risk factors that can lead them to develop heart disease. Some of the risk factors that can raise a woman's chances of developing heart disease are preventable while others may not be. However, awareness is important so that a woman can take the best possible care of her health as well as to keep an eye on her heart health going forward.
Smoking is a risk factor for heart disease in both men and women and is one of the biggest risks that a woman can take when it comes to developing heart disease or having a heart attack. In fact, smoking is considered to be more of a risk factor for women than it is for men. The risk of both heart disease and heart attacks are higher in women who are smokers than men overall.
Endometriosis is a condition unique to women and can affect a woman's chance of developing heart disease. This is a condition that occurs when the uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus and can cause severe pain and discomfort (especially during the menstrual cycle) as well as infertility and other health issues.
Recently, a study was performed that analyzed the link between endometriosis and the development of heart disease. During the study, it was found that a woman who had endometriosis was 52 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 91 percent more likely to have angina (chest pain that can be a symptom of coronary heart disease).
Menopause-Related Hormone Changes
Another risk factor that women can face when it comes to developing heart problems is menopause. More specifically, it has to do with hormone changes and fluctuations that occur along with menopause. When a woman's estrogen levels go down, the risk of developing heart disease goes up, particularly microvascular disease which occurs in the smaller blood vessels throughout the body.
Taking hormone supplements during or after menopause may be able to help with these risks. However, too much estrogen can also cause problems with the heart. There is a delicate balance that a woman needs when it comes to her hormone levels to protect her overall health and her cardiovascular health specifically.
Now that you know a few of the risk factors for heart disease in women, you can better protect your health and know what to look out for now and in the future.