The last thing she thought of was a heart disease. Finally finding time in her schedule, she went for a check-up which revealed that she was suffering from a coronary artery blockage.
It may come as a surprise but heart disease thought to be commoner in men is now increasingly found in women and that too at younger ages.
But surprisingly, women don't perceive it as a bigger threat and know little about its symptoms. In most cases there may not be any chest pain etc which is attributed to a heart condition
According to a study published in Global Heart, the journal of the World Heart Federation, at least five times as many women die from heart disease as breast cancer.
Yet little is talked about heart disease that kills more women than lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer combined.
"The challenge stems from the fact that symptoms of heart disease are different in women than in men," explains Dr. Karthik Vasudevan, Cardiologist at Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwantpur.
"Women often describe symptoms like chronic fatigue, shortness of breath with exertion or jaw pain. Complaints like I can't sleep in bed, I have to sit in a chair or use 2-3 pillows or my heart flutters- these are generally the complaints that you hear from potential women heart patients."
The primary reason for the rise in women heart patients is due to the fact that women are less proactive about going for preventive annual health checkup compared to men.
Also women are often so busy taking care of everyone else in the family that they overlook their health until it becomes near impossible to do daily work.
Dr. Prabhakar Shetty says, "The major reason behind the rise in number of women suffering from heart diseases is due to change in their lifestyle, increased amount of stress, smoking and drinking habits along with the co-morbid conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes. The unusual symptoms women often experience makes it harder to diagnose the disease."
"Moreover the myth that heart diseases occur mostly in men makes them ignore the symptoms which leads to late diagnosis and delay in seeking treatment, which contributes to higher mortality. An annual health check is mandated for women also after the age of 30 years."
Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. is one of the first healthcare companies to enter the country through 100pc foreign direct investment (FDI) route.
--IBNS (Posted on 27-09-2013)