Heart disease is seen as a man’s problem and the general belief is that men are most prone of having a heart attack. However, this is a false assumption: 1 in 30 women dies of cancer, while 1 in 3 women dies of heart disease. Statistically, heart disease is the number one killer of women across America. The problem is few women know the essentials about this condition, especially young women, who think they are not at risk of developing heart disease. Which is just another popular myth.
There is no age bracket for developing heart disease
Most people, men and women, believe heart disease is something to deal with in old age. However, our modern lifestyle, which includes smoking, lack of exercises, lack of sleep, a poor diet and birth control pills, makes us prone to heart disease from a young age. Nowadays teens and 20somethings, who look healthy, are actually suffering from different types of heart disease. At the same time, the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease in women below 45 years is rising.
Just exercising doesn’t protect you
If you want to prevent heart disease you need to address the problem from all areas. Exercising alone is not going to protect you from heart attack or a stroke. This is because your diet also plays an important part in your risk of developing heart disease. If you are smoking your risk is also enhanced, as well as other faulty habits.
Sugar increases the risk of heart disease
If you frequently drink soda and fruit juice your heart disease risk might be 38% higher than in other people. Studies revealed that consuming more than a quarter of the daily calories in sugar, doubles your risk of heart disease. Apart from soda, there are many processed foods with lots of added sugar.
Artificial sweeteners in diet soda are also linked to heart disease; studies showed that adults who drink one diet soda daily have a 44% higher risk of heart attack.
Birth control pills increase your risk of heart disease
Hormonal birth control pills increase the chances of developing heart disease in some women, especially overweight women or those who have a family history of heart disease. Women who have kidney disease are also at risk. If you are also a smoker, taking hormonal birth control pills is going to increase the risk of heart disease by 20%.
Women of color are most prone to heart disease
Black women are two times more likely to die of heart disease than white women. At the same time, Latinas are likely to develop cardiovascular problems a decade earlier than white women.
Another major problem in women is the fact their symptoms of heart attacks are slightly different than men’s. While men experience strong chest pain, women may not have any chest pain before a heart attack. Women can experience pain in their arms, back or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweats and nausea.
Bottom all, if you are a millennial woman who believes she is too young to worry about heart disease, you may want to check with your doctor and make sure your heart really is healthy.