Young women have more heart attacks – and that may be because of the way they are treated by doctors

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New Study Finds Younger Women at Increased Risk of Heart Attack – Here's What You Can Do to Fix It

A twenty-year study of American heart health brings bad news to younger women: the chances of a heart attack between 34 and 54 years have increased dramatically over the past two decades. Although heart health has improved for men and older women, this demographic is suffering – and for reasons that researchers believe are preventable.

The study on heart attacks, published in the last issue of the journal traffic, It's focused on the incidence of heart attacks and their treatment in four communities in the United States between 1995 and 2014. While the analysis has highlighted a number of trends in onset and treatment of heart attacks, the main finding is that, despite the aging of the population, the percentage of heart attacks among young people is constantly increasing.

"The greatest percentage of heart attacks in younger patients is alarming," said Melissa Caughey, co-author of the study, a professor at the University of North Carolina's Faculty of Medicine at Chapel Hill. Today & # 39; hui. "And this is especially true given the aging of the population."

Although the study does not know exactly why more younger women were victims of heart attacks, it found that women who were suffering from them had risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. 'hypertension.

Younger women might simply not realize that these problems can lead to heart problems, and doctors might not realize that younger women should be examined and treated for problems such as high cholesterol. or hypertension.

Another troubling aspect of the study was that women of all ages were not treated the same as men after a heart attack for therapy and medications, such as anticoagulants and cholesterol-lowering statins.

What can we do to help stop this trend? Experts agree that it is about awareness and education, both for younger patients and their doctors.

"This is a very important study," said Dr. Erin Michos, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Associate Director of the Ciccarone Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Johns University School of Medicine. Hopkins in Maryland. "The main message to women is that you should not think that you are too young for a heart attack. It has always been wrongly thought to be a human disease. And this leads women to be under-diagnosed and under-treated. "

Women can consult the list of risk factors and change their lifestyle if necessary, including their diet, physical activity, sleep and stress. They can also be sure to get their annual checkup and get the signs of heart problems, such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

"It's complex," CNN's Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist and medical director at the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health, told CNN. "Are risk factors and symptoms recognized by providers? Do patients, even though they have insurance, take the time to make an appointment? Was it difficult to have an appointment, so they just gave up?

"It's possible, but look at other behaviors in this age group," said Goldberg. "People work and spend more time than in the past at their desks and are not physically active. Lack of physical activity is also a risk factor, "she said. "Lack of sleep and increased stress increase blood pressure. it is also a risk factor. "

Younger women must realize that doctors can ignore their feelings and concerns – doctors tend to ignore women's pain, resulting in undiagnosed conditions and untreated medical problems. For example, a man suffering from high blood pressure may receive medication, while a woman with high blood pressure may be asked to relax more.

It is also imperative to know the symptoms of a heart attack to be able to act quickly, especially because women often show signs different from those of men (and are taken less seriously).

Do not think that your heart attack will look like the one you see in the movies. Know instead that the main symptoms of the woman are fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, pain between the shoulder blades, cold sweats and dizziness. Many women will not even have a feeling that could be described as chest pain.

The bottom line? We need improved care and increased awareness with regard to younger women and cardiovascular disease – and we need it now because the numbers are only increasing.

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