Are cardiac problems less readily diagnosed in women than in men? by Connie b. Dellobuono

Answer by Connie b. Dellobuono:

1. In the USA, more than half of women over 45 are divorced. Depression and anger affect a woman's heart health.
2. Women in menopause experience many competing health issues that they forgot to take care of their heart health:
During menopause, women experience these symptoms:
lack of energy, joint soreness, stiffness,back pain,breast enlargement,breast pain,heart palpitations, headache, dizziness, dry, itchy skin,thinning, tingling skin, weight gain,urinary incontinence,urinary urgency,interrupted sleeping patterns,heavy night sweats,hot flashes.
Psychological symptoms include anxiety,poor memory, inability to concentrate, depressive mood, irritability,mood swings,less interest in sexual activity.
Long term effects
Menopause confers:
– A possible but contentious increased risk of atherosclerosis.The risk of acute myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases rises sharply after menopause, but the risk can be reduced by managing risk factors, such as tobacco smoking, hypertension, increased blood lipids and body weight.
– Increased risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis
3. Estrogen boost risks in women with heart disease
In contrast to its usual role in reducing heart risk, starting estrogen replacement therapy may actually increase the risk of heart problems in postmenopausal women who have already been diagnosed with heart disease, reported a North Carolina researcher at the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans. In a study of more than 1,850 female heart attack patients that was originally designed to look at the protective effects of aspirin, more than 37% of women who began hormone replacement therapy after the study began were hospitalized with unstable angina — chest pain not triggered by exertion, as in stable angina — within a year. In contrast, the hospitalization rate for women who had never used hormone replacement therapy was 17%, and the rate for those already on hormone replacement therapy prior to aspirin therapy was 21%. The study results are similar to those reported by a team of researchers at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) last summer. Nearly a third of women with heart disease in the UCSF study who began estrogen replacement therapy after beginning either aspirin or the blood-thinning drug Coumadin were hospitalized with unstable angina within a year, compared with a hospitalization rate of 21% in those already on estrogen.

Are cardiac problems less readily diagnosed in women than in men?