Smoking, Diabetes & Hypertension Spike Heart Attack Risk in Women

Off late, there’s been an increasing focus around the attributes and risks of heart attacks in women. This can be correlated to the increasing number of stroke cases in women globally. Many researchers have been exploring the various reasons and possible causes of such an elevated rate of heart attacks, especially in women, and the prime causes identified are smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Recent studies have concluded that an elevated risk of heart attack was found among women that have hypertension, and diabetes. This means that the same diseases are less likely to cause a heart attack if you are a male, and more likely if you are a female.

Generally heart attack patients tend to experience generic symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and pain in the arms, neck, back, jaw, and/ or stomach. But, women are more likely to experience some additional symptoms like unusual tiredness, cold sweats, dizziness, nausea, and/ or erratic vomiting. Speaking of statistics, it was found that smoking increased a female’s risk of getting a heart attack by 55% more than it increased the same risk in a male. Likewise, high blood pressure or hypertension increases a woman’s risk of getting a heart attack by an extra 83% as compared to its effect on a male. Similarly, the Type-2 diabetes was found to have a greater impact on women relative to men, when it came to the chances of the disease causing a possible heart attack.

If you are woman with any of the above mentioned conditions, we suggest you to take some extra precautions and make amends to your diet, do away with habitual smoking, and work your way to a healthier heart. If you’re unsure how these attributes increase your chances of having a stroke, here’s how smoking, diabetes, and hypertension affect your heart.

Smoking and Heart Disease

You probably already know that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of breathing problems and lung cancer. But do you also know it makes you likely to have a heart attack? Roughly one out of five fatalities from heart disease is related to smoking. With each cigarette that you smoke, it makes you more likely to get a heart disease. Smokers are twice to four times more likely to get heart diseases than non-smokers. The risk is even higher for female smokers. So if you’re a female who is also a habitual smoker, you’re probably sitting at the top of the pyramid of people most likely to have a heart attack.

How does smoking really cause heart diseases? The answer lies in the nicotine content of the cigarette you smoke. The nicotine in cigarette reduces the oxygen that goes to your heart; increases your blood pressure level; speeds up your heart rate; and aids in the formation of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. It can also cause severe damage to your blood vessels.

It’s always a good idea to kick that cigarette stub and do away with the habit. Not only would it help you find a healthier lifestyle, your odds of getting heart disease or high blood pressure will drop significantly. Needless to mention, kicking the habit also saves you getting cancer, emphysema, and other serious conditions.

High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

High blood pressure or Hypertension can cause excessive straining and result in damage to coronary arteries serving the heart. It causes them to slowly become slimmer from a build-up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances that are together known as plaque. This is a slow process known as atherosclerosis. As the arteries slowly harden with plaque, blood clots begin to form. When an artery becomes blocked due to plaque or a blood clot, the flow of blood through the heart muscle is altered, resulting in starvation of the muscle of oxygen and nutrients. The damage or death of any part of the heart muscle, which occurs as a result of this is called a heart attack.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Having diabetes means that you are at a greater risk of developing a heart disease and have a higher chance of getting a heart attack or a stroke, when compared to people who do not have diabetes. Individuals with diabetes are also likely to have certain other conditions that increase the probability of having heart disease or stroke, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you have diabetes, you should look to protect your heart and health by managing your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Over the course of time, high blood glucose from diabetes tends to damage the blood vessels and nerves that specifically control the heart. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater are the chances of suffering from a heart disease. Many people with a condition of diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age those without diabetes. Historically, in adults having diabetes, the common most causes of death are stroke and heart disease and they are almost twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke compared to people without diabetes. It is important to know that if you are already working towards managing your diabetes, it not only helps you lower down your blood sugar, it also helps in lowering down your probability of having heart disease or stroke.

The occurrence of heart diseases and strokes is increasing among women and becoming a reason of concern. Conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure have a higher impact on women than men and thus, if you’re a woman and not leading a healthy lifestyle, it is time to give your body some priority treatment and work on it. Quitting on the habit of smoking should always be the number one priority, followed by a healthy diet that contents more of green leafy vegetables and less of fatty foods, and regular exercising can help too. That’s not all, indulging into any kind of sports activity, meditating or yoga can also significantly help.