The symptoms of heart failure in women
Any woman can be faced with heart disease, and almost all of them lead to heart failure. Knowledge of symptoms and risk of these diseases, adherence to a healthy lifestyle – these simple measures can help to protect women’s health.
There is a misconception that heart disease are often men. It should be noted that they are the most common cause of death in both sexes. The problem is that some of the symptoms of these diseases in women can differ from symptoms in men.
What is congestive heart failure?
The term «heart failure» (HF) is used to describe the condition of the heart where it is not functioning as it should. SN is characterized by a circulatory failure in which the heart cannot meet the body’s need for blood and oxygen.
The differences are SN in women
Compared with men, women with heart failure is characterized by the following differences:
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- In women, symptoms of heart failure begin to develop at a later age compared to men.
- Women, as a rule, more often than men, develop diastolic SN with preserved ejection fraction. SN develops with the weakening of the heart muscle (systolic HF) or due to violation of the elasticity of the myocardium (diastolic HF). In some cases, the ejection fraction may be normal, but due to the increase in pressure inside the heart and lungs, the patient may develop SN.
- Causes are SN in women often associated with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, valve defects and diabetes.
- Unique for women disease, which can lead to the emergence of a SN, is the perinatal cardiomyopathy that occurs without any known causes before birth or after them.
- Depression is often associated with heart failure. It is more common among women.
- In women with breast cancer who undergo chemotherapy, including Doxorubicin, can also develop congestive SN due to toxic effects of this drug on the myocardium.
- Although the symptoms and signs of SN the same for both men and women, the latter are more likely to develop shortness of breath and reduced tolerance to physical stress. They also often develop swelling in the ankles compared to men.
- In General, women with heart failure live longer than men with this condition.
Development factors of SN in women
Some risk factors for heart disease the same for men and women is an increased level of cholesterol, hypertension and obesity. However, there are factors that can play a more important role in the development of CH in women. These include:
- Diabetes. Women with diabetes have a more pronounced risk of heart disease compared to men with the disease.
- Psychological stress and depression. A woman’s heart more than men exposed to stress and depression. They also impede the observance of rules of healthy lifestyle and the recommendations of the doctor.
- Smoking. In women, Smoking in greater degree affects the heart, in comparison with men.
- Physical inactivity. Some scientific studies have discovered that women are physically less active than men.
- Menopause. Low levels of estrogen after menopause pose a significant risk of disease in the small blood vessels of the heart (coronary microvascular disease).
- The broken heart syndrome. This disease is often caused by stressful situations, can lead to serious, but usually temporary heart failure. It often develops in women after menopause. Broken heart syndrome is also called cardiomyopathy takotsubo syndrome spherical expansion of the apex of the left ventricle or stress cardiomyopathy.
- Complications of pregnancy. High blood pressure or gestational diabetes during pregnancy can increase the risk of the woman standing hypertension and diabetes. Some scientific studies found that the presence of complications during pregnancy (hypertension and gestational diabetes) in the mother increases the risk of developing heart disease in the future.
Forecast SN in women
With proper treatment, heart failure is not very strongly limits everyday life. The prognosis depends on how well the myocardium is functioning, symptoms and the effectiveness of treatment. In General, women with heart failure live longer than men, but they still suffer symptoms (e.g., shortness of breath) and functionally more limited. Women with heart failure often require hospitalization compared to men.