In this interview, Dr. Aarush Manchanda discusses the risk of heart disease in women, how women can keep healthy, and what warning signs we need to keep on the look out for.
The interviewer opens by asking whether heart disease is the number one killer in women above all the different types of cancer. Dr. Manchanda says that this is true, and always has been, but more awareness has been placed on cancer and women getting pap smears and mammograms. But what’s been ignored is the fact that every minute, a woman is dying from a stroke, heart attack, or cardiac arrest.
Dr. Manchanda emphasizes that 1 in 3 women are living with heart disease, and that’s why it’s crucial for them to get their hearts checked.
Why is More Emphasis Being Put on Women and Heart Disease?
Women are protected from heart disease until they hit menopause. But after this, they start to catch up with men, accelerating their risk of developing heart disease. That’s the awareness that Dr. Manchanda wants to build since women need to start checking for symptoms and visiting their heart doctors as soon as they hit menopause.
Can Women Die from Heart Disease without Knowing?
There are all sorts of signs that indicate heart disease, and we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to prevent it. Dr. Manchanda likens it to how we get our cars serviced regularly. It’s important that women see their doctors for a checkup on their heart, which will include looking at cholesterol levels and other high-risk factors, such as diabetes. They should also go for a service if they’re experiencing shortness of breath or they’re feeling tired all the time. These are red flags that can be picked up before you have a car crash (heart attack).
What are the Symptoms, Regardless of Age or Gender?
For a heart attack patient, common symptoms include:
• a heaviness or tightness in their chest, which often comes on with exertion
• jaw pain
• left arm pain
• increased heart rate
These are all alarming symptoms, even if you’re only young. If you feel like you’ve got these symptoms, they’re warning signs and shouldn’t be ignored.
Sometimes, patients might not seek help until their heart’s not functioning properly. But any of these alarming symptoms, regardless of your age or gender, should be treated seriously right from the start. As Dr. Manchanda eloquently puts it, “There’s no smoke without fire.”
Check out his book Your Heart House: An Artisan's Approach™ to Understanding Heart Health for easy to understand heart analogies, because Dr. Aarush Manchanda believes patients deserve to understand what is happening in their bodies.