Contrary to the perception that men are more prone to heart ailments than women, a three-year study by Nanavati Hospital, Vile Parle, found that women are equally vulnerable to coronary artery diseases.
Of the 1,763 female patients , aged between 26 and 90, seeking treatment for heart ailments between 2009 and 2012, 27% were found to be suffering from hypertension and diabetes — major risk factors for developing coronary artery diseases.
Angiography conducted on the respondents found that 41% of women suffered from multiple blockages in two vessels in the heart, 20% had blockages in three vessels, and 25% had blockages in a single vessel.
“The fact that a higher percentage of women have multiple blockages involving one or more vessel is a clear indication that they are coming to the doctor at an advanced stage. Also, women are found to be neglecting their health and ignoring symptoms such as chest pain,” said Dr Lekha Adik Pathak, cardiologist, Nanavati Hospital, who conducted the study.
Doctors said that ‘left main disease’, a life-threatening condition with blockages in the left main coronary artery, are now being detected in women. The study said 52 women were detected with such blockages, which were considered rare in women. “Left main disease is widely called widow maker’s disease in scientific books as it is seen mostly in men,” said Dr Vijay Surase, consultant cardiologist, Jupiter Hospital, Thane. “Lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking and high stress levels are putting women equally at risk.”