10 ways so that women can protect their hearts.

50% of women in India reportedly live with an abnormal cholesterol level and with heart disease getting younger, there is an urgent need for women to be aware of how to live healthfully. In an interview with HT Lifestyle

10 ways so that women can protect their hearts.

50% of women in India reportedly live with an abnormal cholesterol level and with heart disease getting younger, there is an urgent need for women to be aware of how to live healthfully. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Ramakanta Panda, Cardiac Surgeon and Vice Chairman of Asian Heart Institute suggested that heart disease symptoms in women may be different from those in men, for e.g. women may have a heart attack without chest pain and tend to have blockages not only in their main arteries but also in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Though a majority of heart patients including both men and women, would have chest pain during a stroke, it has been revealed that in women we do see non-typical symptoms. These symptoms could be shortness of breath, vomiting or nausea, just sweating or pain that is not in the center of the chest but maybe on the left side or in the hands. 

Dr. Ramakanta Panda revealed that valve disease is also common in young women. Dr Tilak Suvarna, the Senior Interventional Cardiologist, pointed out that cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death in women, accounting for 1 in every 4 female deaths as women are nearly as susceptible to heart disease as men, especially if they are post-menopausal or diabetic or overweight. 

Dr. Tilak Suvarna shared 10 things that women should do to protect their hearts:
1. Estimate your risk of having a heart attack
 
Coronary or ischemic heart disease can be hereditary and tends to run in families. If you have a first-degree relative who has had heart disease, then you too have an increased risk of having heart disease. Then there are simple algorithms that can help you to determine your risk of having a heart attack. 

2. Know your numbers 
It is important that you should know what your ideal body weight and waist circumference should be, as well as your blood pressure and your sugar and cholesterol values, as these are major risk factors for heart disease. If your levels are abnormal, then you must take appropriate measures to bring them down to normal.

3. Physical Activity


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It is recommended to undergo 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise every week—averaging out to approximately 45 minutes of exercise five days per week. This includes brisk walking, running, jogging, swimming, dancing.

4. Have a heart-healthy diet


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A heart-healthy diet includes a low-fat and low-salt diet, liberal amounts of fiber, vegetables, fruits. Avoid saturated fats, sugary items, processed food, and red meat.

5. Lose weight 
Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor. Any woman whose body-mass index is more than 25 or whose waist circumference is more than 35 inches has an increased risk of heart disease. Regular exercise and strict diet control will help in reducing and maintaining your body weight.

6. Stress management 


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Stress is another important risk factor that unfortunately cannot be measured. Stress is almost inevitable in our lives, especially for women who have to manage household chores, work-related issues, and different relationships. But it is how you manage your stress that influences your susceptibility to heart disease. Yoga and meditation can be very useful in coping with stress.

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