KARACHI– According to a study in The Lancet Global Health, Heart disease is considered to be the number one lethal condition, both in women and men of India, causing 2.1 million deaths across the country in 2015.
Heart diseases remain undiagnosed in women, especially those living in underserved rural areas where people are seldom screened for risk factors such as elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, which is higher in older women than men in India.
Dr. Ravi R Kasliwal, Chairman Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Medanta, Gurugram, stated that, “Most heart attacks occur when fatty deposits (plaques) made of cholesterol, calcium and cellular waste deposit on the inside of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart. Though the process, called atherosclerosis, affects both genders, its progression is different in men and women.”
The risk factors for heart diseases are the same for men and women, yet the effects for many are compounded in women.
For example, women with one risk factor have twice the risk of heart disease as those who do not, and those with three risk factors are at 10 times the risk compared to men.
Diabetes in women doubles their likelihood of death from a heart attack, as does smoking.