Heart Disease: A major threat to working women

In a recent survey, Visualizing the Extent of Heart Disease in Indian Women (VEDNA), conducted by a group of senior doctors, it was revealed that there has been a steep rise in the number of women suffering from heart diseases across the country and the numbers will continue to rise in the coming years.

The sudden spike in the number of women suffering from cardio vascular diseases is mainly due to change in lifestyle. Modern day women are career oriented and in addition to putting up with the stress at work place they are also expected to take care of the family and all household chores. This perhaps is taking a toll on their health.

Considering the fact that working women juggle between home and work responsibilities, they are more likely to get exposed to stress and unhealthy lifestyle and therefore, are more prone to cardiovascular diseases compared to women who are not working. Apart from this, risk factors like stress, smoking and drinking have increased considerably along with it, co-morbid conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes have also gone up.

Some of the conditions that can put women at the risk of developing heart diseases are:

  • High Blood Pressure/ Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Oral contraceptives (especially those with already existing risk factors such as smoking, obesity, etc.)

It is important for working women to take necessary steps in order to minimize the risk of developing cardio vascular diseases. They must begin to pay closer attention to what and how they eat, as well as make sure there is time set aside for exercise several times a week. While it is impossible to avoid work stress, one can always find ways to minimize and contain it.

Regular exercise is a healthier way of living. One can begin with simple ten to fifteen minute walk to build endurance and slowly add more strenuous forms of exercise. Lifestyle changes may or may not be easy. However, if one understands what needs to be done and why it has to be done it will make the process easier.

Another factor is the way one eats. Often, working women are either on tight schedules or have to attend get-togethers where there is minimal control over the food that is available, hence the diet 

Tags: Heart , Women , Working women , Diabetes , Heart health


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