Every year, over a million American women, experience a heart attack and almost a half of them are fatal. Though most people believe that heart attacks mostly affect men, research by the American Heart Association Has proved that the leading cause of death and disability among women is a heart attack. (Ridker and Manson 2003). More than half of the women who experience heart attacks are unable to recover fully. This is an alarming situation which needs total attention.
Young women are highly at risk because of their lifestyle. The use of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy which is common among young women makes them prone to getting a heart attack. Physical inactivity is also a key factor since lack of exercise could lead to accumulation of high cholesterol and narrowing of the coronary artery, which is a prime cause of heart attack. Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and high blood pressure are among other risk factors for heart attack.
Familiarity with the risk factors and behavioural change is a primary measure towards prevention. However, there are risk factors, which you can change, and others which you cannot. A family background of early age heart attack is beyond one’s control. Controllable risk factors include smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and physical inactivity. Consulting a trusted doctor could also help prevent the chances of getting a heart attack. (Grandy and Lee 2006).
Lack of seeking medical attention could lead to an increase in the already established statistics of death and disability. Women are also the backbone of development of any country and failure to get treatment could lead to instability and underdevelopment of the country. Most children will be left orphans and lack a basis of maternal parenting.
Existence of a knowledge gap by women regarding heart attack hinders prevention. Health providers also find it difficult to understand symptoms in women. (Redberg and Cushman 2010). It is thus essential to create awareness and educate the public on matters regarding heart attack and how they can prevent them. Women should also realise the importance of seeking medical attention in time and living a healthy lifestyle. As they say, prevention is better than cure.