Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 30, 2007

Heart-stopping news for women

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:52 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Contrary to popular belief, heart disease occurs equally among men and women, albeit at an older age in women.
In 2005, statistics from the Health Ministry indicated that 22.5% of women died of cardiovascular disease, and this is an increase of 135% compared with 1990.
“Most men and women still think that it is a man’s disease,” states Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin, Malaysian Medical Association president and Yayasan Jantung Malaysia director.
“In a way, that is true, as oestrogen provides some protection from heart disease.
“What women don’t realise is, those who have diabetes may lose this protection, and also, the risk of having heart attacks increases to the same rate as men for women over 62.”
“Most women have their heart attacks after menopause, especially 10 years after menopause due to the decline of oestrogen in the body,” Dr Khoo said.
This is a timely reminder to women, especially since it’s World Heart Day today.
World Heart Day was initiated by the World Heart Federation (WHF) and created by WHO and Unesco in 2000 to create public awareness of risk factors for heart disease and stroke and to promote preventive measures.
This year’s World Heart Day theme, Team Up For Healthy Hearts, highlights the importance of fighting heart disease together as a community.
“Worldwide, an average of more than 16 women per minute die of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke,” the WHF states in its website.
Other factors can also predispose women to heart disease.
Women who have hypertension, high cholesterol levels, metabolic syndromes, smoke, had their ovaries removed or have a family history of heart disease were also prone to developing the disease, said Dr Khoo.
World Heart Day is held on Sept 30 worldwide.
For more information, log on to the WHF website, http://www.world-heart-federation.org or the Yayasan Jantung Malaysia website, http://www.yjm.org.my

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