How Cardiovascular Diseases in Women are Different Than Men



Many believe that cardiovascular diseases are attributed to men only, as if males are the only people affected by the scary world of heart issues.The reality is everyone could be at risk, regardless of gender. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, one of the leading causes of death for both genders in the United States happens to be heart disease. Male or female, the disease doesn’t discriminate.

Unfortunately, since the disease is assumed to be most common in men, women are often completely unaware of their risk as well as the symptoms and treatments associated with it. Consequently, since women may not be aware of their potential risk, they ultimately ignore any early signs warning them. Cardiovascular diseases in women are different than men, here’s how.

What are Cardiovascular Diseases?

Cardiovascular diseases are diseases that affect the cardiovascular system. Typically the disease affects the heart or blood vessels including arteries, capillaries, and veins. Again, heart disease is one of the most deadly diseases for both genders, but it seems particularly scary for women since it’s widely assumed to be a male-only disease.

The Differences in Cardiovascular Diseases for Women Versus Men

The classic symptoms heart attacks display in men are pressure, tightness, and squeezing in the chest. Since these are often considered obvious signs that a heart attack is happening, women are often unaware they could be suffering from one as the symptoms don’t present themselves the same for females.

In fact, many women don’t experience chest pain at all when having a heart attack. Symptoms reveal themselves in the form of nausea and vomiting, back or jaw pain, and shortness of breath. It’s important to realize cardiovascular diseases affect both genders and how the signs show up. Since it’s assumed heart attacks affect men, women ultimately waste time before acknowledging they need medical attention.

Another contributing factor found in cardiovascular diseases is weight. Since women and men carry their weight differently, it’s no surprise that this would affect each gender differently as a result. For women, numbers have a huge impact when it comes to prevention. High blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and a large waist size are considered high risk factors more so for women than for men.

Since hormones are an obvious difference between men and women, it’s not shocking to learn hormones impact the likelihood of being at risk. As women approach menopause, their estrogen levels have a tendency to decrease, which in turn increases their chance of developing a cardiovascular disease. Because of this, more women are being diagnosed when they’re older as the natural level of estrogen essentially protects them during their younger years.

When to See a Doctor About Your Level of Risk

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above or have a family history of cardiovascular disease, make an appointment with a doctor to discuss your concerns. If you’re in or around Magnolia, TX, reach out to Internal Medicine Diagnostic Center for more information.