In the past heart attacks or heart disease were considered to affect men more than women.  So women usually received less aggressive treatment and were referred for diagnostic tests less often than men.  Unfortunately this meant that when women were diagnosed with heart disease it was usually more advanced and their prognosis was poorer.  It is now known that cardiovascular disease affects more women than men.  Further, cardiovascular disease in women contributes 40% of all deaths in American women.

Men and women can experience different symptoms of heart disease.  There are many women who have heart attacks and don’t even know it.  Some of the symptoms that women can experience and should be a red flag to them are a burning sensation in their upper abdomen, light headedness, an upset stomach, and sweating.  The usual pain in the left half of the chest may not be experienced and so therefore the above symptoms may be ignored passing off as something else when in fact they might be having a heart attack.

Women have more severe heart attacks than men.  Women are more than 50% more likely to die in the first year after a heart attack.  In the first 6 years after a heart attack women tend to be more susceptible to having a second heart attack.

There are studies that show once a woman has completed menopause she has an increased risk of having a heart attack.  This is due to decreasing levels of estrogen during menopause.  With lower levels of estrogen the female experiences higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’) and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good cholesterol’).  Due to the life expectancy of women being approximately 79 years, woman live with a higher risk of heart attack due to the LDL increase along with other contributing factors.  Today 1 out of 4 women over the age of 65 has an identified cardiovascular disease.

Hormone replace therapy (HRT) has been researched and the results show that it may greatly affect women who already have heart disease.  In the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) postmenopausal women were given estrogen and progestin therapy which increased heart attacks and heart disease deaths during the first year of the study in contrast to women not on hormone replacement.  After the HERS the American Heart Association recommended against the use of HRT in women with known heart disease.

With this information those without heart disease being put on HRT would increase their chances of heart attack events since the LDL’s get higher and the HDL’s get lower.  As always my recommendation is to get the body to make what it needs by making sure proper nutrients and building blocks are ingested on a daily basis.  Stay away from ‘Crapohydrates’ and eat real food to ward off heart disease and death!

If you are currently experiencing heart disease or have had a past heart attack there are alternative therapies you can do in order to keep your heart healthy.  Eastern medicine and proper nutrition are definitely a step in the right direction to get your body to heal naturally.

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