Medical Monday: Women’s Heart Health

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 1:48 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Coronary Heart Disease is the most common, but also the most preventable type of heart disease. And while Coronary Heart Disease still more common in men than women, it’s actually more common than breast disease.

Behnoosh Dashti, a Primary Care Provider and Family Physician at the Women’s Health Center says, “We all know about breast disease, we care about it, lots of talks and people usually do a screening about that, but number one cause of death and disability in the US among women is heart disease.”

In fact, between the ages of 45 and 65, one in nine women experience some type of heart disease, with that number rising to 1 in 3 after age 65, according to Dashti. Coronary Heart Disease is the most common type of heart disease.

“Usually when people think of heart disease, that is the type we think about. And by coronary heart disease, we mean clogging of the arteries or blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle by fatty deposits.” says Dashti.

Symptoms of coronary heart disease can present differently for women than men.

“We have more silent heart attack in women than in men. So women can have heart attack without that typical chest pain. It could be with something more like tiredness or weakness and that presentation of heart attack would be a typical and that’s why it gets missed a lot.” according to Dashti.

Despite being the most common, Dashti says Coronary heart disease is also the most preventable.

Dashti says, “With regular exercise and a healthier diet, we can control the cholesterol level which is the main cause of development of heart disease by those fatty deposits that we mentioned. Other than that, other contributes are smoking, stopping the smoking. Also, if there are any other diseases like hypertension, diabetes. Good management of those can have a huge huge influence. And last, but not least is stress management.”

Dashti adds people with depression experience more heart disease as well. If you have concerns or questions about your health, you are encouraged to reach out to your primary care provider.