Women’s Heart Disease
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Women’s Heart Disease

Women’s Heart Disease - What it is

Do you know: Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer among Singaporean women?

One in three women dies of cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) in Singapore, claiming more lives than breast cancer. Studies showed that heart disease is deadlier in women, often going undiagnosed or undertreated. Heart disease can affect women at all ages, and particularly after menopause. The good news is heart disease can be prevented or managed if you take care of your heart health.

[Video] Heart Disease in Women: What You Should Know

To make an appointment at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), please visit here:
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Women’s Heart Disease - Symptoms

Typical symptoms such as severe chest pain, cold sweat and giddiness can be experienced by both men and women. Women, however, are more likely to exhibit atypical symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Back, neck or jaw pain
  • Fatigue

Women are more likely to dismiss these symptoms, and less likely to see a doctor when symptoms of heart disease appear. This causes delays in diagnosis and treatment.

Women’s Heart Disease - How to prevent?

Women’s Heart Disease - Causes and Risk Factors

Risk Factors

  • Diabetes
    Diabetes and prediabetes raise the risk of coronary artery disease more in women than in men. In fact, having diabetes almost doubles a woman’s risk of developing heart disease.

  • High blood pressure
    High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) usually occurs without any symptoms. Women who have blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg are at increased risk for coronary artery disease. A normal healthy blood pressure is below 120/80 mmHg. 

    Learn more on managing your high blood pressure here.

  • High cholesterol
    High cholesterol also occurs without any symptoms, and even skinny women can have high cholesterol. The build-up of excess cholesterol causes narrowing of the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart.

  • Obesity
    People who have excess body fat – especially located around the waist – are more prone to developing heart disease and stroke. Overweight women are 55% more at risk of developing heart disease than men.

  • Smoking
    Smokers have two to three times the risk of non-smokers for sudden cardiac death. Female smokers are twice as likely as male smokers to have a heart attack.

  • Psychosocial factors
    Depression is twice more prevalent in women with heart attacks. Acute stress is associated with takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as ‘broken heart syndrome’, especially in women.

Women’s Heart Disease - Diagnosis

Women’s Heart Disease - Treatments

Once the patient learns what the correct diagnosis is and prescribed course treatment, she can be a proactive participant in her own recovery to good health.

A holistic approach to treating heart disease involves taking into account not just the care of a woman’s heart, but also her entire physical and psychosocial well-being. A healthy body and healthy mind are more likely to support a healthy heart.

Women’s Heart Disease - Preparing for surgery

Women’s Heart Disease - Post-surgery care

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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