The Urban Urban – Cardiovascular risk factors in women

We must bear in mind that regardless of sex, the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, They attribute the risk of cardiovascular events and in the presence of these it is necessary to implement aggressive measures of control and changes in lifestyle in both men and women. These traditional cardiovascular risk factors can potentially be changed and can not be changed.

Adaptable risk factors:

dyslipidemia: As cholesterol and / or triglycerides increase, the risk of heart disease increases. If other risk factors are present (such as high blood pressure and tobacco smoke), this risk increases even more. The cholesterol level of a woman also depends on age, heredity and diet. Below you will find information about the right levels of cholesterol:

Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg / dL. For LDL (bad) cholesterol: if the risk of heart disease is low: less than 130 mg / dL if the risk of heart disease is on average: less than 100 mg / dL, if the risk of heart disease exists The heart is high (including people who are already have heart disease or diabetes): less than 70 mg / dL. HDL (good) cholesterol: 40 mg / dL or more for men and 50 mg / dL or more for women. Triglycerides: less than 150 mg / dL.

High bloodpressure: A blood pressure value equal to or less than 120/80 mmHg is considered optimal. It is considered "prehypertension" at the values ​​120-139 / 80-89 mmHg, and it is necessary that it be carefully monitored. High pressure is considered a value of 140/90 or higher.

smoking: During the last decades there has been an increase in the number of women who smoke. The risk that smokers walk when developing a heart condition is 2 to 4 times more than with non-smokers. In addition, smoking affects other risk factors to significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Physical activity: Managing an inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise, moderate to strong, helps to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels. The more powerful the physical activity, the better the benefits will be. Even moderate to intense activities, however, help if they are done regularly and in the long term. Physical activity can help regulate blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate in most women.

Obesity: women who have excess body fat, especially in the waist (abdominal circumference larger than 82 cm), develop a heart condition or stroke, even if they have no other risk factors. Overweight increases the activity of the heart and the presentation of diabetes or lipid disorders.

Diabetes: diabetes can cause blood sugar levels to rise to dangerous levels. Most food we eat is converted into glucose, or sugar, that our body uses as energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, produces a hormone called insulin to help glucose reach the cells of the body. Adult diabetics die mainly due to cardiovascular disease, as diabetes accelerates atherosclerosis, therefore all diabetics are considered cardiovascular patients and must be evaluated and monitored by the cardiologist even before they become symptomatic.

Stress: some scientists have discovered that there is a link between the risk of heart disease and stress in a person's life. Women in menopause often suffer from depression and are often less tolerant of socio-economic-emotional discomfort situations, where mismanagement is a common form of stress and anxiety. It is assumed that the connection is related to the way in which stress can influence established risk factors.

Alcohol and illegal drugs: the intake of alcohol increases in women. Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure, cause heart failure, or cause a stroke. It can help to increase triglycerides, cause cancer and other diseases and cause irregular heartbeats.

Non-changeable risk factors:

Age: Approximately 82% of people who die of a heart condition is 65 years or older. In older age, women who have a heart attack more often than men die from this cause within a few weeks.

Inheritance and race: Daughters of parents with heart disease are more likely to suffer. African Americans have higher blood pressure values ​​than whites and a higher risk of heart disease. The risk of heart disease is also highest among Chicanos, Amerindians, Native Hawaiians and some Asian Americans. This is due to the higher number of cases of obesity and diabetes. Most people with a strong family history of heart disease have one or more of the other risk factors. Just as you have no control over age, gender and race, you can not check family history. That is why it is far more important to treat and manage another risk factor that you have.

In short, regardless of gender, when a patient with one or more cardiovascular risk factors, pharmacological intervention and life habits is the primary norm; let us give women the benefit of the doubt, deepen the diagnosis and intensify the treatment, without prejudice by gender.

Dr. Triny Rojas
Hospital Cardiologist
from Santa Cruz

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