Heart disease is often considered as a health problem that mostly affects men. However in fact, heart disease is also the main cause of death in women, because some of the symptoms of heart disease in women are different from men. Women often do not know what to watch out for and all women have the risk of threat of heart disease.

Although heart disease is sometimes considered a male disease, many women also develop heart disease and die each year from heart disease. Heart disease often attacks women. It is silent but deadly. The right steps to protect the heart are by knowing the symptoms and specific risks of heart disease in women, eating healthy foods, and doing exercise.

“The cause of many women’s deaths is heart disease. Since women have different body characteristics from men, exposure to heart disease is also different. Hormonal factors, the condition of pregnant women and giving birth play roles as tremendous burden on the heart,” said dr. Sefri Noventi Sofia, M.Si.Med, Sp.JP, Cardiologist and Blood Vessel Specialist at Diponegoro National Hospital of Diponegoro University.

According to her, the symptoms of heart disease in women vary greatly. Women should be careful if their children, especially daughters, experience coughing and repeated fever. In pregnant women, if there are symptoms of disturbed fetal growth and development should not be ignored. Adolescents and women are at risk for valvular heart disease and it can be detected from infection, such as sore throat or frequent joint pain. There is a rheumatic infection from a certain bacteria called streptococcus beta hemolyticus. It usually attacks the throat and the heart so that the heart valves become problematic.

Furthermore, dr. Sefri said that pregnant women have an extraordinary burden on their hearts, so women should check their hearts for treatment. Be alert if children also complain of being easily tired, nervous, and fainted. Some female patients develop heart failure due to pregnancy but the mechanism is not yet clear. Some of them also experience increased blood pressure during pregnancy. The increase in blood pressure in pregnant women should not be ignored, even after giving birth the blood pressure eventually drops. However according to research data, in the next few years women with such symptoms have a much higher risk of heart disease. With increasing age, postmenopausal women have the risk of coronary artery blockage which then has the potential to have a heart attack. For fertile women who are planning to get pregnant and give birth, beware of heart health. It is better to conduct a health check during pregnancy to also screen for heart health.

“Regarding first aid for handling patients with sudden cardiac arrest, we should not be panic. First of all, check the patient’s response and immediately call for help. Then approach the patient to widen the airway, for example by loosening the patient’s clothes, taking the patient into supine position, and doing cardiac massage,” she explained.

“In commemoration of World Heart Day, let us always check heart health and do not forget to recognize heart disorders. Especially women have the potential to have problems during pregnancy because they have a fairly high chance of heart disease. For women who want to plan a pregnancy, make sure to screen the heart. If there are symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, and so on, please immediately go to the doctor to get checked. If during pregnancy there is an increase in blood pressure or shortness of breath, then do a heart check. After giving birth, it is better to continue to monitor your heart health because the risks still exist. For women who have gone through menopause, they should be more diligent in evaluating blood pressure, sugar level and cholesterol level as well as weight, because they can be causes of coronary heart disease,” said dr. Sefri. (Linda – Public Relations)

Translated by: Titis (Public Relations)

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