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Heart Healthy Tips for Women- Be Vigilant

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Heart Disease In women

Heart Healthy Tips for Women- Be Vigilant

Dr. Nityanand Tripathi
Cardiac Sciences, Cardiology
Cardiac Sciences, Cardiology
Senior Consultant (Interventional Cardiology & Electrophysiology) & Coordinator (Cardiology)

Recent studies have shown that women fare worse than men when it comes to a heart attack. Women are busy taking care of their house, doing daily chores, looking after kids and usually ignoring the dramatic symptoms that can cause a heart attack. They ordinarily delay in seeking health care because they are more concerned with looking after their families and do not want to ignore them. This can lead to atypical presentations of heart attack such as indigestion, fuller stomach, fatigue rather than a chest pain. 

Symptoms other than Chest Pain

  • Severe pain in neck, arms, jaw , stomach or upper back
  • Fatigue, dizziness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Shortness of Breath

Dig Deeper- Know the Risk Factors

There can be several factors that can cause you a heart attack, let us list down the ones which are more risky and causing coronary heart disease:

  • LDL Cholesterol
  • Obesity – An abdominal circumference of more than 32 inches is unreasonable, while 36 inches for other ethnic group.
  • Diabetes
  • Low HDL Cholesterol
  • Family of coronary heart disease
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Hypertension (High BP)
  • Excessive tobacco use (smoking, chewing in toothpaste- primarily nasal inhalation)
  • Women who have has recurrent miscarriages (including those with elevated homocysteine   levels), Elevated lipoprotein (a) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Note: Smoking and diabetes have a stronger influence on woman’s heart health than men. 

Keep your heart healthy-Few Tips

  • 7 Hours of Good Sleep - People who sleep atleast for 7 hours have less accumulation of calcium (an early sign of heart disease) as compared to those who sleep for 5 hours or 9 hours.


  • Keep your Blood Pressure Under Control - Keep the blood pressure levels low as it is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke. The extra force can damage the artery wall and create scar tissues, making the circulation of blood and oxygen to and from the heart difficult. It is advisable to check your blood pressure after every two years to know whether it is normal or high. In case your BP is high, try to maintain it by consuming a Mediterranean diet as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  


  • Limit Saturated fats intakeConsuming a High Cholesterol diet like red meat, full-fat diary products, fried or processed foods can cause clogging of heart and brain arteries. Strike out trans fat foods (the ones that mention hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated ingredients) from your diet. Have your cholesterol checked after every 5 years for a better treatment.  


  • Control your diabetesLimit sugar and calories intake to keep your weight intact by strategizing an exercise plan. In addition to damaging organs like kidneys, brain, and peripheral vasculature, diabetes can also lead to severe cardiac problems. It is a high alert for you when the sugar levels are on the border- this implies you are suffering from pre diabetes.  


  • Exercise Mode - Step up to exercise for atleast 30 mins by doing any activity that requires moving around. Brisk walking and aerobics are good exercise activities to break slight sweat. In case you have a desk job that requires long periods of sitting, it is advisable to stand or walk while doing simple things like talking on phone. Weight loss can be achieved by taking in fewer calories each day than you burn off, which usually means a combination of eating less food (or healthier food) and getting more exercise.


  • Fruits are better than fruit juice - Your diet should include lots of whole, plant-based foods (like fruits, vegetable, nuts, and seeds) than refined or processed food (like white bread, pasta, crackers, and cookies). Cut out surgery beverages like soda and fruits juice, which lack fibers.


  • Watch out your weightThe easiest way to find out ideal weight is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), a number based on your weight in relation to your height. A BMI of 25 or higher means you’re more likely to get heart disease and BMI of 30 or higher puts you obese category. Structured diets or calories-counting programs and smart phone app can help. But make your own programs in consultation with your doctors and sticks to it.


  • Stop smoking real and electronic - Smoking whether active or passive are bad for your heart. If you smoke, quit, and avoid spending time around other who smokes as well.


  • Get a stress-busting hobby - Stress is a part of life but excessive stress should be avoided. Managing stress in a healthy way is important be it meditation, yoga or exercise, friends, a partner  or someone else with whom you can talk and share can provide support to you emotionally and keep your heart healthy.