Heart disorders have been the commonest problems requiring immediate medical attention. While newer medicines and technology aid early diagnosis and treatment, heart disease still remains a serious problem. People often wonder if heart disease is more common in males or females and it is worth a discussion.
Is Heart Disease More Common in Males or Females?
With amazing advancement in the recent years, human beings can live longer, stay healthy and also overcome several severe diseases which were once considered fatal. In recent times, many new diseases and lifestyle disorders have been on the rise. One such health condition is the array of heart diseases which are a leading cause of death amongst both females and males. However, statistics reveal that heart diseases are more common in males as compared to females who are below 55 years of age. It has been found that heart related diseases such as angina and heart attacks are more common in males than females and they can occur at early ages in males.
Most diseases related to the heart are connected to those blood vessels which supply blood to the muscles of the heart. These muscles control the rhythm and rate of the heart along with its valves. One of the major reasons for blockage in the cardiac vessels is atherosclerosis which is a condition where plaque build-up occurs in the coronary arteries. This causes the arteries to narrow down in size thereby resulting in partial or complete blood flow obstruction to the heart resulting in heart diseases.
Why are Heart Diseases More Common in Males?
The major reasons why heart diseases are more common in males than females are:
- Obesity - A major cause of heart diseases being more common in males is undoubtedly obesity. Obesity is the excess fat deposition in different parts of the body which has a direct relation to heart attacks. When the excess deposition of fat is around a man's abdominal area, it affects the heart directly and can give rise to several heart complications. It has been seen that in women, such fat deposition occurs mostly in the thigh and buttocks area and this has a lower negative impact on the body and related heart diseases. Men are also more prone to developing type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia due to the excess deposition of fat in the abdominal area.
- Physical Stress - One of the commonest factors that suggest why heart diseases occur more commonly in males and not females is that men take on more stress as compared to women. Also, males are more exposed to heavy physical work which exerts a pressure on their body and this too causes men to be more vulnerable to heart diseases.
- Emotional Stress and Turmoil - Another factor which makes males more susceptible to heart diseases is emotional stress. Though women experience far more emotional stress and turmoil as compared to men, women often express their feelings by crying or talking with near ones. Men on the other hand, are unable to do so and keep their feelings to themselves, without expressing, which keeps building up emotional stress. Such piled up stress can give way to coronary artery diseases and increase the risk of other heart diseases.
- High Cholesterol - Several men suffer from a high level of cholesterol which affects the heart directly and makes heart diseases more common in males than females. Women, especially those who have not yet reached menopause, have an advantage of high amounts of estrogen in the body. High estrogen in premenopausal females helps to increase good cholesterol in the body and keep bad cholesterol in check, thus providing protection from heart diseases.
- Unhealthy Lifestyle - Men tend to lead an unhealthy lifestyle as compared to women even though the latter have started slowly mimicking men in this field. Consuming too much alcohol and red meat, smoking excessive cigarettes, not getting enough sleep every night and taking on too much stress are some aspects of an unhealthy lifestyle which makes heart disease more common in males than females.
Since the above mentioned factors have confirmed the fact that heart diseases are more common in males than females, it is imperative for men of all ages to make a continuous effort to not take too much stress, lead a healthy lifestyle which is free of alcohol and cigarettes, eat a healthy diet and talk to their loved ones during tough times. All these factors together will help lower the risk of heart diseases and allow men to stay healthy and live longer in the future.
Some simple lifestyle measures to reduce risk of heart disease includes practicing yoga and meditation regularly, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, eating healthy, staying away from sweets, fried foods and packaged and processed goods, exercising daily and learn ways to express feelings or ways to reduce stress.