There is a steep rise in heart ailments among women of all age brackets, according to a survey conducted at the Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital in Vile Parle, Mumbai. As many as 46% had single vessel disease out of over 3250 women who visited the hospital's heart clinic with chest discomfort and underwent angiography.
Dr Lekha Pathak, principal investigator and head of cardiology at the hospital said, "The stress of a hectic lifestyle and handling of multiple tasks both as homemakers and employees, constantly, affect women. We found out that nearly 74% of them are suffering from hypertension, which is a huge risk-factor for cardiovascular diseases."
Improper diets coupled with lack of exercise routine and added domestic responsibilities have resulted in 54% women falling under the obesity bracket. Genetic heredity, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and lack of exercise are other factors causing coronary heart disease among women. Smoking caused heart disease in nearly 3-4% of women, according to one of the findings.
"Almost 70% of the women diagnosed with heart ailments are post- menopausal. Diabetes is also strongly associated with coronary diseases and causes silent cardiac arrests in almost every third or fourth person," Pathak added. "Almost 52% women in India, with a myocardial infraction, die of sudden death before reaching the hospital as compared to 42% men," she said.
The World Congress on Coronary Heart Disease held on August 16, addressed the issue of the increased incidence of CHDs in women. "If preventive measures are not taken, every alternate person will suffer from CHDs by 2020," said cardiologist Dr BK Goyal.