Woman’s Heart Reacts More Sensitively to Stress

MARCH 8, 2016 by JOE BATTAGLIA

The Female Heart Reacts More Sensitively To Stress


While the number of men dying from a heart attack has been constantly decreasing during the past twenty years, the fatal risk particularly in young women has increased significantly, finds a study. The study showed that stress in the daily routine has particularly adverse effects on the feminine hearts.

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The multiple stress factors due to job, household and domestic care of relatives cause the stress symptoms, which may manifest organically in the heart.

Women generally have a much harder time than men when it comes to heart attacks. Women are more likely than men to die, be permanently disabled, or have a second attack within a year, yet a very insignificant amount of information is provided to women by their doctors and gynecologists to prevent heart attacks. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of U.S. men and women, accounting for an average 40% of all U.S. deaths. That’s more than all forms of cancer combined.

Every year, 47 percent of the women and 38 percent of the men die from heart disorders, the findings revealed.

The heart is the human body’s hardest working organ. Throughout life it continuously pumps blood enriched with oxygen and vital nutrients through a network of arteries to all parts of the body’s tissues. In order to perform the arduous task of pumping blood to the rest of the body, the heart muscle itself needs a plentiful supply of oxygen-rich blood, which is provided through a network of coronary arteries.

Smoking, increased blood fats, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach fat and lack of exercise are known risk factors that are responsible for the increased mortality rate.

In addition, gender-specific risks such as irregular menstrual cycles, early menopause, and pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia and the pill or hormone replacement therapies also worsen the heart condition in women.

Also, diabetes is often an underlying condition for women with heart diseases, which significantly increases the risk of a heart attack than in the case of men.

Coronary artery disease is said to be the most common cause of heart attacks, which occurs when blood flow to the the heart’s muscular walls (the myocardium) is interrupted. Although other theories have been postulated by other experts in cardiology such as Quintiliano H de Mesquita who suggested that heart attacks begin in the heart itself, not in the arteries.

Further, following menopause, blood pressure generally increases and blood fats and body fat distribution are tendentially subject to adverse changes, which also increases the risk, the researchers explained.

“In case of cardiovascular disorders, women have a different age distribution, other clusters of risk factors and the vascular changes in the heart also differ morphologically,” said Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, professor at Medical University of Vienna in Austria.
The diagnosis and therapy for women are often more difficult. Examinations such as ECG or ergometry are less conclusive; even the heart attack blood markers in women could be improved with new, specific limit values and new gender-specific biomarkers could be established.

Apart from adiposity and diabetes post-traumatic stress disorders also play a considerable role in women’s health.

Women need to actively incorporate periods of rest in the daily routine and should ensure sufficient physical activities to alleviate stress, the researchers suggested.

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