These days, there is a significant increase in heart attacks in women, from 0.32 to 0.62 million, compared to men, at 0.53-0.92 million. Sidharth Shukla, Raju Srivastav, Puneeth Rajkumar, Krishnakumar Kunnath KK—there are many examples of these health-freak actors who suffered heart attacks.
When we spoke to a renowned dietician, Anushtha Sharma, she told Afternoon Voice, “These days, people are very health conscious, but somewhere they are forgetting that their body needs balanced food to survive. Overworking out and a measly diet cause a lot of issues. Women are at stake due to various pressures at work place, home and personal and social factors.”
Actor Sushmita Sen is the recent example that she had undergone angioplasty; she underlined a growing trend in India: more women than ever before are being diagnosed with heart disease and getting treated. Heart attacks were for long associated with men; the turnout for help at the hospital showed the gender bias. Recent health data from India shows a rise in the number of deaths among female heart patients higher than the corresponding rise in deaths among males from 2000 to 2017.
The 2017 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) Study and related studies said it with numbers. GBD 2017 data showed ischemic heart disease (when arteries get narrowed or blocked) caused 1.54 million deaths, of whom 0.62 million were women and 0.92 million men.
A team led by Dr. Rajeev Gupta from Jaipur analyzed similar data between 2000 and 2017 and found annual mortality (due to ischemic heart disease) rose from 0.85 million to 1.54 million — with the greater increase in women from 0.32 million to 0.62 million compared to men (0.53-0.92 million). The Jaipur team’s article in the peer-reviewed ‘American Journal of Preventive Cardiology’ journal in 2020 concluded as such. Reasons for the rise were obesity among women, use of smokeless tobacco or smoking, diabetes, and oral infection. There is medical evidence to show diabetes affects the female heart more than the male heart.
Senior doctor Dr. Anshuman Manaswi said, “These days, medical consultants pay attention to women’s heart problems. Also, more women undergo health check-ups that detect blockages or high cholesterol levels. Housewives in most Indian homes lead an inactive life with little to moderately intensive physical exercise recommended by the World Health Organization. A recent BMC survey showed obesity among Mumbai women to be higher than among men. Until two decades ago, it was believed that women were protected against heart disease.”
To some extent, heart menopause is another reason why many women come under some sort of unknown stress, including mood swings, eating disorders, and hormonal irregularities; after 60, the risk of heart disease is the same for men and women. Globally, heart diseases are the leading cause of death among both men and women. “In younger women, smoking and stress are leading causes of heart disease,” said a doctor. In some young women, medicines for a chronic condition could contribute to the disease.