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What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Disease

Heart disease affects about as many American women as it does men, but only about half of women understand their risk of death involved with heart disease. Women have different symptoms than men, and the risk factor rises after menopause and as you get older.

At Cardiovascular Institute of America in Tampa and Lutz, Florida, Muthu Velusamy, MD, FACC, ABVM, leads our team in treating heart disease with the highest level of expertise and care. We’re committed to helping you understand conditions that can cause damage to your heart.

Women and heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America, affecting more women in the South. The lack of health care, combined with increased risk factors such as obesity and poor nutrition, might be the biggest contributors.

Women are more likely than men to have specific types of heart problems, including angina (chronic, intermittent chest pain), types of cardiomyopathy, and coronary artery spasms.

Women’s heart attack symptoms

While chest pain is still the most common symptom of heart attack in both sexes, women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:

A woman’s risk of heart attack goes up sharply after menopause. It can increase again around age 72. However, signs of heart disease can happen in younger women as well. Research shows that 1 in 16 women over the age of 20 already has early stage heart disease. 

How women should manage the risks of heart disease

One of the best ways to manage your heart disease risk is to schedule regular checkups with Dr. Velusamy. As a team, we can monitor the condition of your heart and pay attention to any changes.

We also recommend that you stay aware of ways to lessen your risk of heart attack or other heart issues, such as:

Staying within a healthy weight range

When you manage your weight with exercise and good nutrition, you can avoid gaining pounds that can take a toll on your heart. Keeping your weight within a healthy range allows your heart to work more efficiently.

Monitoring your blood pressure

Keeping your blood pressure under control reduces stress on your heart. If needed, we can prescribe medication for you to maintain steady blood pressure.

Monitoring your blood glucose levels

If you’re a diabetic or think you could have Type 2 diabetes, watch your blood glucose levels closely. If your diabetes goes untreated, your heart health risks can increase significantly.

Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol

High levels of “bad” cholesterol can put your heart at risk. In many cases, your cholesterol can be adjusted with simple changes to your diet. In more severe cases, we might recommend medication.

Ending your smoking habit

Did you know that women who smoke have a 2-4 times higher risk of cardiovascular disease? Quitting can reduce the risk of damaging your heart.

If you have questions or concerns about the condition of your heart, contact us by calling the office nearest you today, or use the convenient online booking tool to schedule your appointment. You can also send a message to Dr. Velusamy and the team if you have questions, concerns, or comments.

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