Heart Attack In Men vs Women: Who Is At Greater Risk?
June 23, 2023
Heart attacks are a common phenomenon where the oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart is significantly decreased or interrupted.
Heart attack is a condition that can develop slowly with no symptoms or slowly and intermittently with very minor symptoms, making it difficult for the patient to determine whether they are about to have a heart attack.
Therefore, it is advisable to keep a vigilant eye on the signals that the body sends and to seek medical attention right away if certain red flags start to appear more frequently, even if they are moderate in nature.
Signs of a heart attack in men vs women
Common warning signs of heart attack include:
- Feeling short of breath despite not doing much exertion. Angina pains may or may not be present at the same time
- One / both arms or shoulders can experience shooting pains
- Having jaw, neck, or back pain
- Regardless of the temperature, breaking out in a cold sweat Having clammy, sweaty palms or experiencing numbness in the hands
- Feeling instantly faint or dizzy
- Nausea or a feeling of impending vomiting
- Having stomach ache, indigestion, or heartburn
- Having a phlegmy, prolonged cough
It is important to remember that male and female myocardial infarction (MI) symptoms may differ.
While both men and women may have certain symptoms including shortness of breath and discomfort in the arms, back, or jaw, women are more likely to experience a MI without experiencing any chest pains.
Additionally, women are more likely to experience less noticeable symptoms including indigestion, sleep issues, nausea, and vertigo that are not immediately associated with a heart attack.
In fact, women tend to have less visible symptoms that are more closely related to common lifestyle disruptions like worry or acid reflux.
What are the common heart attack risk factors?
Heart attacks can be caused by a variety of both visible and hidden risk factors. Men experience the effects of the risk variables more quickly than women do.
Gender: Males are more likely than females to get a heart attack early in life.
Obesity: A person is considered obese if their BMI is greater than 30 and exceeds 25. Both variables, particularly obesity, can be directly responsible for heart attacks since it raises blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, and paves the way for diabetes, which causes inflammation.
Visceral fat accumulation: High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, and inflammation are all associated with extra belly fat and increase the risk of heart attacks.
Smoking: Whether actively or passively, being exposed to nicotine, which reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart and causes chronic inflammation, hardening of the artery walls, and constriction of the arteries.
Exposure to pollution: Breathing air that has been tainted with dangerous particulate matter due to industrial smoke, exposure to lead, arsenic, and cadmium from mining activities, and exposure to smoke from domestic activities that use biomass fuel are all thought to raise the risk of various heart conditions, including heart attacks.
Diabetes: Leads to high blood sugar levels, which damage the neurons and blood vessels in charge of managing and sustaining the heart. Diabetes patients frequently have high blood pressure, which increases plaque build-up in the arteries and forces the heart to work harder to perform its duties.
Metabolic syndrome: A person is considered to have metabolic syndrome if they have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessive visceral fat, and high levels of bad cholesterol. This condition doubles a person’s risk of having a heart attack.
Heredity: If you have a family history of heart attacks, you are genetically prone to encountering one as well.
Why do more men than women get heart attacks?
While both men and women have hearts, it’s important to note that there are distinct gender variations in how they are predisposed to having a heart attack and how their bodies respond to one.
According to research, males are more likely than women to experience a heart attack, particularly a sudden one.
Both sexes are impacted by the risk factors. In fact, women’s higher heart rate and potential pre-eclampsia risk during pregnancy doubles the risk of cardiovascular issues including CAD and strokes.
Both genders are equally affected by heredity, obesity, diabetes, and autoimmune illnesses. However, until they approach menopause and the hormone starts drying out, women are still shielded against heart attacks (and, for that matter, most cardiac diseases) by the mystical hormone “oestrogen.”
As a result, compared to males, women often get heart attacks 7 to 10 years later. Ironically, it is still the leading cause of mortality for women over 65.
How can oestrogen make a woman more resistant to heart attacks?
To begin with, oestrogen has a positive impact on the body’s metabolic processes, including lipids, coagulants, and inflammatory indicators. Additionally, it aids in the vasodilation effect, which increases blood flow by stimulating alpha and beta receptors in blood vessel walls.
Oestrogen levels begin to steadily decline as menopause begins to set in, which causes atherosclerotic plaque to convert into lesions with inflammatory components. Women become more susceptible to heart attacks as a result than they were previously.
In contrast, men who have high amounts of testosterone and low levels of oestrogen are more likely to get heart attacks at a younger age. Both excessive testosterone and low oestrogen are risk factors for heart attacks because they increase blood sugar levels while raising bad cholesterol, respectively.
It should go without saying that both men and women are equally prone to have a heart attack. Women can be more badly impacted by the issue than men simply because males are more susceptible to it earlier in life.
Early detection of both conditions and subsequent treatment are essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Continue to assess your susceptibility to the typical risk variables at various points in your life. If you have a hereditary tendency for heart attacks, this examination should start in your 30s.
Stay away from risk factors that can be prevented, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Above all, if warning signs start to appear more frequently, do not ignore them, no matter how small. Your body could just be alerting you to a potential heart attack.
You’ll stay healthy for a long time if you pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you!