Women’s heart health: pioneering women clarify doubts

Every day women are making their way into the field of cardiology, a medical area in which men used to predominate.

Dr. María Ramos, and the first woman to chair this prestigious institution, together with Dr. Ana Finch, pediatric cardiologist, and Dr. Karen Rodríguez, president of the scientific committee of the American College of Cardiology.

The president of the Puerto Rican Society of Cardiology, Dr. María Ramos, and the first woman to chair this prestigious institution, cardiologist Karen Rodríguez, president of the scientific committee of the American College of Cardiology, and the prestigious Dr. Ana Finch, pediatric cardiologist, are a sample of that every day women open up more space within the scientific medical field, especially in the area of ​​cardiology, a field that until now had been dominated by men.

It should be noted that last year heart disease was the main cause of death in Puerto Rico, with 16.5% of reported deaths, so this issue continues to be important, especially with regard to health. of the woman.

Even with the pandemic, COVID-19 has ranked third in causing deaths, but the number one cause is still cardiovascular disease, as indicated the doctor Karen Rodríguez, well, 1 out of 3 women dies from a cardiovascular condition.

In the case of women, it has been observed that death in them is greater than in the case of men. Previously, it was believed that the woman had hormonal protection of her feminine condition, and that it was in the stage of menopause that this risk decreased and cardiovascular diseases appeared. Today we know that this is not exactly the case.

In the group of women who present preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, they should be closely observed because they can present cardiovascular diseases later in life; In addition to that, other factors that affect are the lack of physical activity and obesity.

Cultural aspects in cardiovascular events

About, the doctor Ramos emphasizes that there is a cultural aspect, since women many times they are the ones in charge of the home and they do not want to feel sick or be worried about them, so they can neglect their health and overlook some symptoms such as extreme tirednesssweating, dizziness, upper back painin the jaw or in the neck, but since they do not feel chest pain, then the doctor does not look for the possibility that this woman could be having a heart attack.

Ramos also points out that the associations should give more care for postmenopausal womensince they tend to eat more, develop insulin resistance and have a greater potential and that, in their opinion, is being forgotten or has not been given its importance.

For its part, the doctor Finch, highlighted the importance of the “dress in red” campaign to raise awareness about the importance of the care that women must assume regarding their cardiovascular health. From young, to women They must be taught that in order to take care of their family, they must take care of themselves.

To this he limits that women they dedicate themselves mainly to taking care of their children, their husbands, being housewives and are prone to obesity, which is a risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. As women go through hormonal changes, there is an increased risk, especially when there is a family history of cardiovascular conditions.

From this it follows that, from childhood, women should receive education on these issues, especially because there is a tendency towards inactivity and many women do not eat properly; the junk food that many mothers consume is the same that their children eat, which could harm them in the future.

Women they have a great challenge because they are teachers, they bring money home, they take care of the children and they feel more exhausted, devoting little attention to food, both what they eat and what they give to their girls.

Heart health, the pandemic and emotions

The pandemic has brought with it increased inactivity and difficult access to health centers, which has caused more heart disease and deaths, as highlighted the doctor Rodriguez; Therefore, there is a large number of women who have a lack of control because they had abandoned their medical care and, therefore, neglected their cardiovascular health.

In addition to this, there are health personnel who are tired, exhausted, infected, who have been fired from hospitals, working with the minimum, as emphasized by the doctor Ramos, recalling the demonstrations in hospitals due to lack of professionals, but emphasizing that the same thing happens in private centers where there are patients who are infected with COVID, but die of cardiovascular events, kidney failure, or other pathologies, so with great hope, the doctor he hopes they will bring in professionals again to meet those challenges.

Regarding the management of emotions by women, the doctor Ramos also commented that depression and anxiety are risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women, at any stage of their lives; being depressed, leads the person to be sedentary, increases bad cholesterol and decreases good cholesterol, poor diet, and others.

All this represents a challenge for women because women many times also falls the responsibility of caring for their parents and this brings with it anxiety and cardiovascular risks.

In addition, most families are made up of single mothers, which is why the training they are providing is so important; since, from the age of twenty, certain factors must begin to be addressed in order to have good heart health, take care of health emotional support is necessary, which includes exercising, yoga, meditation, seeking spiritual support and looking at medicine in a holistic way, he adds the doctor Bouquets.

Finch notes that stress causes the heart to take on a small bag shape, or Tako-Tsubo disease, in women who repress their emotions and their hearts become smaller or stiff.

We are in virtual fields, competitions, which makes young people feel pain in the chest, but this is a reflection of pain due to stress. Well, it is not believed that children or young people can suffer from it, but yes, there are children with five or six years who feel stressed by the insecure environment they are living in, Finch stressed.

The doctor Rodriguez agrees with the doctor Ramos, in the fact that we are a whole and there must be a balance, so the doctor reaches a point, but then it is up to the patient to continue, since he must introduce changes in his life to reach that balance, since having a poor mood predisposes the patient to have cardiovascular events.

Finally, the call is for women to empower themselves and understand that, in order to help others, they must start by taking care of themselves. Finch points out that it is necessary to know the risks in order to work on them and not wait until you are sick to visit the doctor, but work with prevention.

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