Risk of heart failure in women
Heart failure (heart failure) is one of the most common in this country causes of death. Up to four million people in Germany have a weak heart. Female hearts they differ from those of men in size and pumping capacity. An expert explains what Women leads to heart failure.
Heart failure in women is an often overlooked problem. In Germany, women make up about half of all those affected and about a third more women than men die from it, the German Heart Foundation reported in an earlier statement. A cardiologist explains what makes women’s hearts vulnerable.
Consequences for the whole body
If the pumping power of the heart decreases, this has consequences for the whole body. Organs such as the brain, liver, kidneys and muscles are no longer supplied with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, explains a press release from the German Heart Foundation.
Distinguish between cardiologists different shapes heart failure (medical: heart failure). In the case of heart failure with reduced pumping function (systolic heart failure), the organ no longer pumps powerfully enough.
In heart failure with preserved pump function the heart is still pumping vigorously, but it no longer fills with enough blood because the tissue is no longer sufficiently elastic. Then we talk about diastolic heart failure.
Differences between female and male hearts
“Women are more likely to suffer from diastolic heart failure, which is a disturbance of the elasticity and therefore of the filling of the heart”, explains cardiologist Prof. Dr. Christiane Tiefenbacher, board member of the German Heart Foundation. This is the differences of female and male hearts both in size and in pumping capacity.
This is reflected in the form of heart failure. According to the expert, women generally have a slightly stiffer and smaller heart than men. The organ is less able to stretch and fill with blood. It is a higher pump power balanced.
As women age, this anatomical fact becomes more important: the size of the heart decreases with age. During menopause, reduced estrogen production not only increases blood pressure but also increases the formation of connective tissue in the heart and the heart continues to lose weight. elasticity.
Often the result of a heart attack
There are other influencing factors that favor female heart failure: “In particular, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes mellitus have a negative effect on the elasticity of heart tissue and are therefore important for women. risk factors for heart failure. If they occur together, their effects are enhanced. “according to Prof. Dr. Tiefenbacher.
The factors mentioned are also critical with regard to the risk of heart attack. “Heart failure is often the consequence of a heart attack. When the heart is infarcted, the heart tissue dies and scarring occurs, which limits the performance of the heart. “explains the chief physician of cardiology at Marien-Hospital Wesel.
Early symptoms of heart failure
Heart failure usually develops gradually and then remains often not recognized for a long time. Symptoms are often mistakenly dismissed as signs of aging.
“Women should be vigilant. Shortness of breath, reduced performance and exhaustion are the first symptoms of heart failure. Even water retention, the so-called edema, often causes the feet to swell “., says the Heart Foundation expert. Daily activities such as climbing stairs, shopping, or cycling become more strenuous.
Important to know: Sudden onset of symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, physical weakness, sleep disturbances, or occasional back and upper abdominal pain may indicate a heart attack in women. Typical chest pain is often absent or less pronounced.
One of the most common causes of death
As the current communication continues, heart failure is a serious and insidious disease that usually manifests itself with unspectacular symptoms and insidiously with shortness of breath, reduced performance and fluid retention, for example in the lower legs (swollen legs, edema in the ankles).
This carries the risk of older sufferers reporting their complaints to them Alter attribute it and accept it instead of going to the doctor. Chronic heart failure should definitely be treated.
Heart failure is one of the most common in Germany causes of death and it is a more common cause of death than cancer. Up to four million people in this country have a weak heart. The risk of disease increases with age. Over 40,000 people die from this disease every year.
“Anyone with shortness of breath should ask a doctor to clarify whether heart disease, such as heart failure, is the cause.”recommends prof. Tiefenbacher. “The sooner a sick heart is recognized and treated, the sooner it is possible counteract deterioration. “ (A.D)
Information on the author and source
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by medical professionals.
- German Heart Foundation: Risk of Heart Failure in Women (accessed 2 July 2022), German Heart Foundation
- German Heart Foundation: Women’s Hearts in Danger: How to Protect Against Heart Failure ?, (accessed on 2 July 2022), German Heart Foundation
This article contains general advice only and is not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.