Cardiac diseases affecting Indian women more, warn doctors

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS): The focus of the World Heart Day (marked Sep 29) this year is on women and children, as heart diseases have emerged as the number one killer for Indian women, according to doctors.

"Till recent times, it was believed that heart diseases are mostly confined to males, but statistics and reports from various medical studies have established that cardiac ailments are claiming more women (victims)," said L.K. Jha, senior cardiologist at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

Indian women account for 15 percent of the global burden of heart disease which kills about 15 million people every year.

"Heart disease is actually the number one killer of women, causing death to one in three women. Women who suffer the first heart attack run a greater risk of losing their lives as compared to men. Even if they survive, they are more vulnerable to suffer a second stroke," said Amar Singhal, senior cardiologist at Balaji Action Medical Institute.

"Women often overlook symptoms and discomfort pertaining to heart diseases, and rarely consult an expert. Even if they opt for consultation, compliance rate is comparatively poor among them," he added.

Coronary artery disease kills more women than cancer, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined, say doctors.

"The trend may be attributed to changing lifestyle, which is bringing drastic hormonal changes that heart protecting effect of estrogen (hormone) is getting nullified," said Purshotam Lal, cardiologist at Metro Hospitals and Heart Institute.


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Title: Cardiac diseases affecting Indian women more, warn doctors

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