ibnlive » Health

Sep 28, 2012 at 10:36am IST

World Heart Day: More young women falling prey to heart diseases in India, says study

New Delhi: Ahead of the World Heart Day on September 29, new studies have revealed that more women are falling prey to heart diseases, breaking the myth about men being at a greater risk.

Stress can be one of the major reasons for rising heart diseases among young women. Rohini, a 32-year-old woman, who works as a floor manager at a hospital, is a workaholic person and spends more time at work than home.

"It was Aug 1, 2011, I remember the date very well. I got up in the morning and felt very uneasy. I thought I'd feel better after breakfast. I did and started to drive for work. I started feeling more and more ill and there was this sudden anxiety. I started banging my fists on the dash board and went back home," Rohini said.

After taking a few painkillers and waiting the whole day, Rohini finally made a call to a doctor friend who then asked her to rush to the hospital.

"We then went to the hospital, where the doctor did an ECG and he first asked me how old I am. I said 31. He again asked me how old I am and then he said I was having a major heart attack since morning. I didn't believe him. At 30, you don't think you could ever have a heart attack, and then I got operated," Rohini said.

Rohini was non alcoholic, non smoker and she had no family history of a heart disease. The question then is why she had a heart attack. "In Rohini's case, it was the stress that was getting to her," said cardiologist Dr Praveen Chandra.

Stress is eroding that protective factor in women, putting them at as high a risk as men when it comes to heart. Early menopause is another factor for rising heart disease in Indian women. What's even more worrying is that more women experience silent heart attacks then men, which are harder to detect.

"You see more of the classic symptoms like chest pain, but as you grow older or if you're a diabetic, you'll feel fatigue, shortness of breath, indigestion, upper abdominal pain or nausea, jaw or throat pain and a shooting pain in the arm, chest pain in left, right or even in the middle," cardiologist Dr Deepak Natarajan said.

Rohini learnt that a work-life balance is called for, but she learnt it in a hard way.