Stress is more harmful to a woman’s heart
Research from the university of Vienna has shown that day to day stress has more negative effects on a woman’s heart compared to a man’s.
For the past 20 years the number of men who have died from a heart attack has been falling. Unfortunately, fatalities from heart attacks in women have been rising, and affecting younger women more frequently. Women experience different symptoms when having a heart attack to men, and this can delay treatment and reduce the risk of survival.
In most countries of the world, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in both men and women. Women have slightly different risk factors than men. Apart from the obvious ones of smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure and not exercising, the following factors can all raise the risk of heart disease in women: having an early menopause, history of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia during pregnancy and use of hormonal contraception. Also women with type 2 diabetes are more at risk of heart attacks than diabetic men.
The researchers stated that the impact of psychosocial stress on the health of a woman's heart has been underestimated in the past and appears to be greater than in men. Post traumatic stress disorder is more likely to lead to heart disease in women than in men.
Women today are having to juggle increasingly demanding lifestyles, which often result in chronic exposure to stress. Anxiety and depression are more common in women than men, and this is partly due to the effects of female hormones. Sleeping problems after menopause are common and greatly raise the risk of both weight gain and cardiovascular disease.
It is so important to try and manage stress in a healthy way. See this article for some tips.
Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, Eva Prescott, Flavia Franconi, Eva Gerdts, Anna Foryst-Ludwig, Angela H.E.M. Maas, Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, Dorit Knappe-Wegner, Ulrich Kintscher, Karl Heinz Ladwig, Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, Verena Stangl. Gender in cardiovascular diseases: impact on clinical manifestations, management, and outcomes. Eur Heart J, March 2016 DOI