International Women Day – 8th March: Focus on the heart of your beloved
All women are at risk of heart disease. Take all women older than 65 to a family doctor and ask for a prescription of 325 mg aspirin if not contraindicated.
For younger women to reduce the risk advise them to indulge in minimum of 60–-90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (e.g., brisk walking) on most, and preferably all, days of the week.
These are a few of the updated guidelines of prevention of heart disease in the women released by said Dr. KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri & Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee and President, Heart Care Foundation of India on the occasion of International Women’s day.
He said that woman’s heart is different. They get less attention when there is a heart attack and when they get one, the attack is more serious.
He said that women are at risk for heart disease and heart attacks, just like men. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women over 65. Urban women are 4 to 6 times more likely to die of heart disease than of breast cancer.
Heart disease kills more women over 65 than all cancers combined.
Facts and guidelines
1. Women develop heart problems later in life than men -- typically 7 or 8 years later. However, by about age 65, a woman's risk is almost the same as a man's.
2. Women are less likely to survive heart attacks than men.
3. Recommended lifestyle changes to help manage blood pressure include weight control, increased physical activity, alcohol moderation, sodium restriction, and an emphasis on eating fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
4. Advice women to quit smoking by counseling, nicotine replacement or other forms of smoking cessation therapy.
5. Physical activity recommendations for women who need to lose weight or sustain weight loss includes minimum of 60–-90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (e.g., brisk walking) on most, and preferably all, days of the week.
6. All women should reduce saturated fats intake to less than 7 percent of calories.
7. Healthy women should eat oily fish at least twice a week for omega 3 fatty acids. Women with heart disease take a capsule supplement of 850–1000 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which to be increased to 2-4 grams if associated high triglycerides.
8. Hormone replacement therapy and selective estrogen receptor modulators are not recommended to prevent heart disease in women.
9. Antioxidant supplements (such as vitamin E, C and beta-carotene) should not be used for primary or secondary prevention of heart disease.
10. Folic acid should not be used to prevent heart disease.
11. Routine low dose aspirin therapy may be considered in women age 65 or older regardless of heart disease risk status, if benefits are likely to outweigh other risks in other means if not contraindicated.
12. The upper dosage of aspirin for high-risk women is 325 mg per day rather than 162 mg. 13. Reduce bad LDL cholesterol to less than 70 mg/dL in very high-risk women with heart disease.
Top 10 points: Preventing heart diseases in the women
1. Increased Emphasis on Lifestyle Changes
2. Hormone Replacement Therapy Doesn't Help Heart Disease
3. All Women Need Adequate Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
4. All Women Should Decrease Intake of Saturated Fats
5. All Women Need Frequent Exercise
6. Nicotine Replacement Therapy May be Used
7. Antioxidants Don't Prevent Heart Disease
8. Folic Acid Doesn't Prevent Heart Disease
9. All Women Older Than 65 Should Consider Daily Aspirin
10. High Risk Women Need More Aggressive Cholesterol Treatment