Written by: Kashish Sachdeva
Heart Disease, referring to several types of risky heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and heart attack is often considered a male’s disease, however this widespread rumor is extremely misleading. CDC states, “almost as many women as men die each year ofheart disease in the United States” (Women and Heart Disease, www.cdc.gov) indicating the seriousness of the issue. Contrary to popular belief, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing… 1 in every 5 female deaths” (CDC). The statistics reflect the unbelievably mistaken concept of heart diseases being a “male’s disease” when women are clearly suffering equivalently.
A very small number of people are educated on heart diseases which is an immense issue considering the deaths resulting from heart diseases cannot be prevented if people aren’t aware of the problem. Go Red for Women states, “The more a woman knows about heart disease, the better chance she has of beating it" reflecting on the issue of the lack of education on heart disease. A significant amount of cardiac arrests can be easily averted throughout the means of education and action however to implement that, one must be educated on heart disease and its consequences.
The risk of death after a heart disease is far stronger in women than men highlighting the gender differentiation of heart disease that is often ignored or disregarded. An article published by Newsroom states, “women face a 20% increased risk of developing heart failure or dying within five years after their first severe heart attack compared with men” signifying the danger inflicted upon women through heart diseases, and lack of education on the health problem. Heart diseases among women are extremely common yet not talked about among doctors, peers, co-workers, or even school other than a health course.
The lack of attention women provide towards heart diseases needs to be addressed. HarvardHealth states, “women still worry more about getting breast cancer--even though heart disease kills six times as many women every year” indicating breast cancer is known as a common disease among women when in reality heart diseases are the leading cause of death (Harvard Health). Women are far more worried about breast cancer because it’s well known and carries the threat of a risking health condition but heart diseases sustain a much higher risk in health condition yet are not talked about as much because they are considereda male’s disease.
The symptoms of heart disease in women are often quite different from those in men. For example, women experience fainting, shortness of breath, indigestion, extreme fatigue, upper back pain, jaw and neck pain, nausea or vomiting while men experience squeezing chest pressure or pain, jaw, neck, and back pain, vomiting and shortness of breath. Although some of the symptoms are similar, ultimately women have different symptoms and need to be more educated because if the symptoms are not recognized, severe damage can be done through heart disease.
In conclusion, contrary to popular belief, heart diseases are widely mistaken as a male health issue considering they are also the leading cause of death among women and propel riskier health conditions on women compared to men. The symptoms also differ in women causing unrecognizable symptoms considering heart disease education is centered around men. Heart diseases sustain life threatening consequences and need to be more addressed.