Heart failure is a topic to which we have become accustomed in relation to men. Most of us have become used to the idea that men suffer from heart disease.
That does not change the fact that heart disease is a major killer of women.
Because heart failure is less common in women there has been a tendency to understudy it. That is beginning to change.
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an abrupt loss of heart function often leading to the death of the patient within a few moments. In the US there are an estimated 400,000 sudden cardiac deaths each year that do not occur in a hospital. A large number of these involve women.
Most women who die from this type of heart failure have no prior history of heart disease.
That does not mean, however, that there are no predictive indicators that such an event might occur.
Ninety-four percent of women suffering SCD have at least one cardiac risk factor indicating that a problem might be forthcoming. Those risk factors include…
One study was designed to focus on these risk factors and determine if they were identical in men and women. The researchers analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study including statistics on 121,701 women ranging in age from 30 to 55 following these women for 22 years (1976 to 1998).
The statistics included…
Among the women studied there were 244 cases of sudden cardiac death. In 69% of these cases when death occurred from SCD there was no previous sign of heart disease.
However, almost all of these women had at least one cardiac risk factor.
Smoking made the top of the list. Women who smoked at least 25 cigarettes per day were four times as likely to die from sudden cardiac death as non-smokers.
This statistic is roughly equivalent to the risk of death from heart failure among women who had experienced at least one heart attack in the past. In other words…
A woman who smokes and has no history of heart disease is as likely to die from sudden cardiac arrest as a woman who has had a previous heart attack.
Diabetes took second place with a 300% greater risk of heart failure death compared to women with no risk factors.
Women with high blood pressure were two and a half times more likely to die from sudden cardiac arrest as women with no risk factors.
Heart Failure and High Blood Pressure
Obesity increased the risks 1.6-fold.
Finally, if a woman had lost a parent to cardiac arrest before that parent was 60 years of age then she was more likely to suffer a cardiac arrest.
Predictably the study indicated that women with arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm), especially ventricular arrhythmia, are also in a higher risk group (as are their male counterparts). Sudden cardiac death is the sudden onset of a heart stopping arrhythmia. Women exhibiting common arrhythmia are more likely to suffer a fatal one.
What conclusions can be drawn from this? The research shows that…
Women with certain risks factors are more likely to suffer heart failure even when there is no history of heart disease.
It is wise, then, for doctors to pay close attention to their patients who have at least one of these risks factors and not just the women who have a history of heart disease.
The second conclusion is that women (as well as men) need to take more responsibility preventing the occurrence of heart failure.
Steps taken to lower the risk of coronary heart disease might also be helpful in lowering the risk of sudden cardiac death.
Smoking does absolutely nothing good for heart health. It increases the likelihood of coronary heart disease as well as SCD. Simply put, people who smoke are much more likely to suffer from heart disease than people who don’t.
High blood pressure and diabetes strain the heart making it more likely to fail. Anything that can be done to remedy these conditions will promote general heart health.
Here’s a question for you…
Are you sick and tired of just not
Are there health issues – in addition to your heart health – that concern you? Like…
Anxiety? Or not sleeping well? Or joint pain? Or low energy? Or poor digestion? Or weight gain? Or stress? Why do so many people suffer from these symptoms and others? Those nagging health issues that seem so difficult to define.
Did you know that these health problems – as well as more serious chronic diseases – can be the result of …
Many people have come to realize this and have made changes to recapture their health. We have a great – FREE – resource we want you to have. Simply click the link below.
Nature provides many good things that work together to promote heart health as well as our general health. Most of us eat on the run or choose the wrong types of food no matter where we eat. Even those who try to eat well find it difficult to get the necessary nutrition because of farming, manufacturing and cooking practices. Organically certified foods are best, especially if they are grown in your own garden.
Dietary supplements, which are produced using the best practices, are a must. With care it is possible to promote a healthy heart lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death. The research demonstrates that, for many of us, the responsibility is ours.
A Challenge For You!
People are making great improvements in their heart health.
How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!
I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.