Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a condition related to the dysfunction of the heart’s blood vessels. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. More than half a billion people worldwide suffer from heart disease.
According to the World Heart Report, heart disease is responsible for 20.5 million deaths in 2021, which is close to a third of all deaths worldwide. Factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, unhealthy diet, air pollution, obesity, tobacco use, kidney disease, lack of physical activity or exercise, harmful use of alcohol and stress are responsible for heart disease.
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of diseases related to the heart and blood vessels. These include coronary heart disease—disease of the blood vessels that supply blood from the heart to the muscles. Cerebrovascular disease—disease of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain.
Peripheral artery disease—disease of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs. Rheumatic heart disease—damage to heart muscle and valves from rheumatic fever caused by streptococcal bacteria. Congenital heart disease—a defect in the heart’s structure from birth that disrupts normal heart development and function, and deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism—blood clots in the leg veins that can travel to the heart and lungs.
As in other countries, the prevalence of CVD among adults is increasing in Bangladesh. Its prevalence has increased significantly in Bangladesh in the last few decades. The rise of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in developing countries is largely associated with urbanization.
Studies have shown that urban residents have a higher risk of CVD than rural residents. But we don’t look at how these risks evolve over time.
Initially, the health of immigrants to cities appears to be better than that of the population living in cities, but, with a change in residence, immigrants become accustomed to city food and other lifestyles (eg, lack of physical activity) that increase the risk of CVD.
Some studies have shown that body fat increases rapidly immediately after rural-urban migration, whereas other cardiometabolic risk factors develop more slowly. However, this process varies in different populations, as the relationship between environment and health status is complex.
The reason why women have less heart disease than men is because of their sex hormone estrogen. It acts as protective for them. But women who suffer from diabetes outgrow this immune system and have a higher rate of heart disease.
Another serious thing that happens in diabetics is that many diabetics do not feel the pain of a heart attack. Often this causes treatment to be delayed or not started at all. As a result, they suffer serious complications and die at higher rates.
Symptoms of heart disease in women are different from men. Experts say that women may not feel severe pain in the chest if they have a heart attack. In that case, chest heaviness, shortness of breath, restlessness or anxiety, arm or shoulder discomfort, dizziness, stomach discomfort, nausea etc. symptoms may appear. But the problem is that these symptoms are also seen in other physical problems, so women often do not understand the symptoms of heart disease.
Again, most women tend to suppress their problems and ignore the problem until it is too late to diagnose. Socio-economic reasons also cause women to ignore their own problems. There are other factors that increase the risk of heart disease in women.
Diabetes, stress and anxiety, smoking, physical inactivity, menopause, pregnancy complications, having a family history of heart disease, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus increase the risk of heart disease complications in women. Women who take birth control pills and smoke at the same time have a higher risk of heart disease.
People over the age of 35, in particular, are at greater risk. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of heart disease by eighty percent. Regular drinking increases the risk of heart disease. Excessive drinking leads to problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight, which is not good at all for the circulatory system.
The most important behavioral risk factors for heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, reduced physical activity, tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol. The effects of behavioral risk factors can be seen in individuals as increased blood pressure, increased blood glucose, increased blood lipids, overweight and obesity. These risks indicate an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other complications later on.
Women perform many responsibilities throughout the day. For which you don’t get a chance to exercise. Lack of adequate exercise is also one of the main causes of circulatory system problems. Experts say that women should exercise at least two and a half hours a week.
Those who cannot exercise should walk at least thirty minutes every day. While taking care of other family members, women do not pay much attention to their own health. Be it family life or workplace, women are seen to worry a lot. They carry multiple problems in their mind and body.
Cardiologists say, due to these reasons, some hormones appear in the body of women which can cause heart disease. In addition, not sleeping properly can also be a big catalyst for heart disease. So 7/8 hours of peaceful sleep is very necessary to stay healthy.
If you have problems with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, you should get regular checkups. Even if there are no outward symptoms, if these things are not taken care of, danger can occur. Those who have such problems should be under the supervision of a doctor regularly.
Cardiologists have said that stopping the use of tobacco, reducing the amount of salt in food, eating more fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity or exercise and avoiding the harmful use of alcohol can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Also need to be mentally cheerful. One can keep oneself cheerful by reading books, listening to music or watching movies at leisure. In this case, as it is the woman’s own responsibility to find time for herself and keep herself well, other family members should also help the woman in this regard.
By identifying those at highest risk of CVD and ensuring appropriate treatment, premature death can be prevented. It is essential to ensure that all primary health care facilities including drugs for non-communicable diseases as well as necessary treatment and counseling are provided in primary health care centres.
We can all reduce our risk of heart disease and improve our quality of life by eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Md. Shamim Haider Talukdar. Chief Executive Officer, Eminence Associates for Social Development