- Women may be more susceptible to circulatory diseases due to hormonal changes, aging, and autoimmune conditions.
- Common circulatory diseases among women include coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and eclampsia are pregnancy-related circulatory diseases that can affect women.
- Massages, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and quitting smoking can all help reduce the risk of circulatory diseases in women.
- Consulting with a doctor is recommended to learn more about preventing these conditions and maintaining good cardiovascular health.
Circulatory diseases affect millions of women globally. These diseases can lead to complications like heart attacks and strokes, which are women’s primary causes of death. Women are at more risk of developing certain circulatory diseases than men, including those associated with pregnancy. Here’s why women are susceptible to these diseases, the most common circulatory diseases common to women, and how to reduce your chances of getting them.
Women And Susceptibility to Circulatory Disease
Biological, hormonal, and lifestyle factors can make women susceptible to circulatory diseases. Here are some reasons why women may have an increased susceptibility to circulatory diseases:
- Hormonal Factors: Hormonal changes throughout a woman’s life can impact her cardiovascular health. Estrogen, which has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, declines after menopause. This decline in estrogen levels can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and other circulatory conditions.
- Age and Menopause: As women age, their risk of developing circulatory diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, increases. This is partly because postmenopausal women experience changes in their blood vessels and lipid profiles, including higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
- Autoimmune Diseases: Some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, are more prevalent in women. These conditions can cause inflammation in the blood vessels, increasing the risk of circulatory problems.
Here are some of the most common circulatory diseases among women:
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a heart-related circulatory disease that affects millions of women worldwide. CAD develops when cholesterol, fat, and other substances accumulate in the blood vessels supplying the heart. This accumulation creates plaque, which narrows the arteries, causing heart attacks, stroke, or angina. Women who smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, a family history of the disease, or are overweight or inactive are at a higher risk of developing CAD.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory disease that affects the arteries in the legs, causing them to narrow or become blocked. This condition results in poor circulation, leading to leg pain, cramping, or numbness. Women who smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and a family history of the disease are at high risk of developing PAD. Early identification and treatment of PAD can help prevent severe complications.
Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition characterized by the formation of blood clots in the veins, which can then break off and travel to the lungs. This condition can cause pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. Women who are overweight, pregnant, on birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, have a family history of the disease or are over 40 years are at high risk of developing VTE.
Atherosclerosis is characterized by the hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to plaque accumulation. Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body, leading to heart attacks, strokes, or peripheral vascular disease. Women who smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, or a family history of the disease are at high risk of developing atherosclerosis.
Pregnancy-Related Circulatory Diseases
Pregnancy can cause various circulatory diseases in women, including gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and eclampsia. Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia occur when a woman experiences high blood pressure during pregnancy. Eclampsia is a more severe condition that causes convulsions in pregnant women with preeclampsia. Regular prenatal checkups and blood pressure monitoring is critical to identify and treat these conditions.
Proactive Tips to Avoid These Diseases
There are some lifestyle tips you can follow to avoid these diseases. Here are some of them:
The way your circulatory system flows is crucial in preventing circulatory diseases. An experienced massage therapist can help break down the limitations in your muscles, improving blood flow and reducing your overall risk of circulatory diseases. They do this by using their hands to massage your muscles, breaking down tension and promoting healthy circulation.
Regular exercise is essential to keeping your heart healthy and reducing your risk of circulatory diseases. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per day.
Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products can help reduce your risk of developing circulatory disease. Make sure to avoid processed foods high in sugar and salt.
Smoking increases your risk of developing cardiovascular conditions like coronary artery disease and stroke. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart health.
These are just some of the proactive steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing circulatory diseases. Consult your doctor for more advice on preventing these conditions and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.