Heart Health Tips for Indian Women | MGM Healthcare

8 Essential Tips for Every Indian Woman to Protect Heart Health Sat , Feb 10

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Heart disease is often seen as a “man’s disease,” but it’s actually the leading cause of death for women in the world. In India, over one-third of deaths in women are due to coronary heart disease. As a woman, it’s important to understand your unique risk factors and take proactive steps to take care of this vital organ. Read on to learn 8 critical things every Indian woman should know to protect her heart health.

Some Facts about Women’s Heart Health

  • Cardiovascular disease CVD is the #1 cause of death and disability for women across India.

  • Over 10 million people die each year in India, with 2 million deaths caused by circulatory system diseases.

  • 2 million annual CVD deaths, around 800,000 happen in women (40% of total).

  • Over 50% of women’s CVD deaths occur prematurely before the average lifespan.

  • CVD is the leading cause of death for both urban and rural women across income strata

  • CVD impacts women most severely in middle age groups.


    Major health reports like Global Burden of Disease Study and the Registrar General of India identify CVD and related conditions (heart disease, stroke) as the top cause of mortality and lost years of healthy life for Indian women

Know Your Family History

  • Your risk for heart disease begins long before symptoms arise. If you have parents, grandparents or siblings who had heart attacks at an earlier age, you may carry those genetic risks as well. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes can run in families – so know your numbers and be proactive if heart disease runs in your family.


  • Ask relatives about any heart conditions or events in your family’s history

  • Get checked earlier and more frequently if you have a family history of heart disease

Understand Female-Specific Risk Factors

  • While some risk factors for heart disease apply to both men and women, women have some additional risks to be aware of. For example, complications during pregnancy – like preeclampsia – raise your long-term chances of having heart issues. Middle age is also a particularly vulnerable time as shifting estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause increase risks.


  • If planning pregnancy, get checked for underlying heart conditions beforehand

  • While chest pain and discomfort is a hallmark heart attack symptom, women may experience more “atypical” symptoms like nausea, shortness of breath, jaw pain or exhaustion. Since these don’t match classic expectations, women having heart attacks are more likely to delay seeking immediate medical care. Know all the signs of a potential heart attack.


  • Note symptoms like fatigue and nausea – don’t wait it out if it feels “different”

  • Call emergency services instantly even if you’re unsure

Don't Ignore Snoring or Sleep Apnea

  • Loud snoring and stoppages in breathing during sleep – signs of sleep apnea – are sometimes shrugged off. But research suggests sleep apnea increases risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and irregular heart rhythms – especially in women over age 65. Getting tested for and treating sleep apnea lowers these heart risks significantly.


  • Notice if a partner says you snore loudly or stop breathing at night

  • See your doctor and request a sleep study if above symptoms present

Reduce Workplace Stress Levels

  • Heavy workplace stress does more than frays nerves and mood – is also taxes heart health over time. According to Harvard Medical School, chronic high job strain makes women over 40 especially prone to developing heart issues like hypertension and atherosclerosis later on. Know your limits and don’t take on too much for too long.


  • Take regular breaks to de-stress

  • Prioritize setting boundaries for workplace demands

Include Exercise to Protect Your Heart

  • Consistent aerobic exercise is one of the strongest protective factors for your circulation system and heart. Getting the recommended 2 1/2 hours of moderate activity, or 1 hour 15 minutes of more intense exercise per week, makes a big difference in heart health. Even if you’re busy, carve out small pockets each day.


  • Take the stairs whenever you can

  • Go for a walk with your family after dinner

Watch for Signs of Diabetes

  • Rates of diabetes have increased rapidly among Indian women in recent years. Diabetes severely raises risks for heart disease, sometimes causing damage even before being diagnosed officially. Be on the lookout for common red flags like increased thirst/appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue or blurred vision to catch diabetes early.


  • Get blood glucose tested during annual check-ups

  • Choose low glycemic foods that won’t spike your blood sugar

Don’t Light Up!

  • You’ve heard it before – smoking cigarettes is absolutely terrible for cardiovascular health. But women face higher risks from smoking than men – lung cancer rates have risen over 230% among Indian women smokers in recent years! If you currently smoke, make quitting priority number one.


  • Enroll in smoking cessation programs

  • Confide in friends and family who can support your quit journey
    Your heart works tirelessly to keep you active and healthy. Show it you care by knowing, monitoring and taking charge of your heart health. Pay attention to any symptoms, emphasize prevention, foster healthy lifestyle habits – and love your heart this Valentine’s month!


  • The content provided here is intended for general informational purposes only. It should not be relied on to suggest a course of treatment for a particular individual. Any reliance on this content is solely at your own risk. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified health care professional for medical advice tailored to your situation.