Women are also at risk for heart disease, but men usually get diagnosed 7-10 years earlier than women. This might be because of these reasons:
- Men tend to smoke and drink more.
- Men are more likely to be overweight or obese.
- Men often don’t do regular physical activity.
- Men have a higher chance of having diabetes.
- Men often eat foods high in saturated fats.
- Men may ignore chest pain and avoid going to the doctor.
Next, we will talk about the most common signs and symptoms of heart disease, as well as the best treatments and ways to prevent it.
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease
The American Heart Association says that heart disease is a big health risk for men, and it affects almost nine million men today. The CDC adds that it’s the main cause of death for one in four men in the United States.
Heart disease includes various heart conditions like coronary heart disease, heart failure, and heart valve problems. So, it’s a wide-ranging category of men’s health issues that affect the heart’s function and structure.
To lower the risk of heart disease, you can identify key factors that might cause it, keep an eye on symptoms, and tell your doctor about any signs of the disease as soon as they appear.
Here are some signs and symptoms of heart disease:
– Difficulty breathing
– Chest pain
– Unusual heartbeat
– Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
– Swelling in the extremities
– Feeling tired
– Fluid in the lungs
These symptoms can also be linked to other health problems like vascular or lung conditions. Sometimes, men with heart disease have multiple symptoms at once, but it’s surprising that almost half of the men who die from heart disease had no symptoms before.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see a doctor right away.
Men have a higher risk of heart disease and are often diagnosed with it at a younger age than women. Many risk factors are linked to heart disease, but some of them can be reduced by making lifestyle changes.
The Most Common Causes of Heart Disease in Men
Here are the most common causes and risk factors of heart disease in men:
- Being overweight or obese.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Not being physically active (leading a sedentary lifestyle).
- Eating a lot of saturated fat in your diet.
- Having high blood pressure.
- Having high cholesterol levels.
- Having diabetes.
- Experiencing high stress levels.
While some of these risk factors also apply to women, many of them are more common in men. Sadly, around half of all men and women have at least three risk factors for heart disease. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on your lifestyle, health, and well-being and take steps to reduce your risk factors for heart disease.
Treatments for Heart Disease
Heart disease treatment can be divided into two types: emergent treatment and maintenance treatment. For instance, when someone has a heart attack, they need emergent treatment. During a heart attack, there is a blockage in one of their coronary arteries that must be treated immediately to stop the heart attack and prevent further harm. This treatment is done using a procedure called a cardiac catheterization. A catheter is inserted through an artery in the extremity and moved to the blocked coronary artery. At the blockage site, a stent is usually placed, which helps open up the artery and restore blood flow to that specific part of the heart. This procedure is often life-saving.
One example of maintenance treatment for heart disease is seen in a condition called congestive heart failure. When the heart has already been damaged by disease and becomes less efficient at delivering oxygenated blood to the body, medication can help improve this problem. For instance, medicines like diuretics can reduce extra fluid, easing the workload on the heart.
The treatment given depends on how severe and what type of heart disease a person has. Another example of maintenance treatment is making healthy changes in lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, managing weight, or controlling diabetes properly by following the doctor’s advice.
The severity of heart disease determines the specific treatment needed. People with mild heart disease can do well with simple treatment, while those with advanced disease may require more complex care. Prevention is crucial for managing this high-risk disease in all cases.
Since men are less likely to seek help for their health, it’s essential to talk openly about men’s health and raise awareness to prevent heart disease. The best way to start is by getting regular check-ups and care from a doctor or healthcare provider.