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Poor Women More Likely To Suffer A Heart Attack Than Men

Update Date: Jan 23, 2017 08:10 AM EST

A new study has found that disadvantaged women are 25 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than men.

A team of researchers at the George Institute for Global Health has found that poverty might be harder in the hearts of women than men. They examined data from 22 million people from various regions such as North America, Asia, Europe and Australasia.

The review, consisting of 116 studies, showed that a lower socioeconomic status is linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease for both sexes, compared to those who are part of a higher socioeconomic background. However, women from more disadvantaged backgrounds were significantly at a higher risk of suffering from coronary heart disease than their male counterparts.

"It's widely known that people from disadvantaged backgrounds are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke than people with more affluent backgrounds. However, our study has shown there is a significant difference between the sexes," Dr. Sanne Peters, study co-author, said in a press release.

The researchers emphasized that there is a need to examine why this is happening to ensure that women will have access to lifesaving treatment. Among women, cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death, with approximately 8.6 million women dying each year.

The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Heart Attack Prevention In Women

Every year, more than one million Americans experience a heart attack and nearly half of them are fatal. However, many believe that heart attacks are more common for older men but it's the number one killer for both sexes, Circulation reports.

Since women are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack, preventing cardiovascular disease is important. Heart attack prevention may need women to stop smoking, eat a healthy diet, maintain or reduce weight, if obese or overweight, engage in physical activities, control blood pressure, control blood sugar, limit alcohol intake, and undergo cholesterol or statin therapy if prescribed by the doctor.

Since a heart attack is serious and needs immediate treatment to prevent death, being aware of the warning signs is crucial. The warning signs of a heart attack include chest discomfort with uncomfortable pressure or fullness, discomfort in the upper part of the body like one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach, difficulty of breathing, cold sweat, nausea, and lightheadedness.

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