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Cardiovascular Diseases – Does Age or Gender Matter?

Cardiovascular diseases include a range of diseases that affect the proper functioning of the heart, like angina, myocardial infarction, rheumatic heart disease, arrhythmia, congenital heart disease, aortic aneurysms, peripheral artery disease, and venous thrombosis. While genetics may play a major part in increasing your risk factors for developing cardiac disease, there are few factors that can be worked upon to reduce the overall risk of getting a cardiovascular diseases. Age and gender are the most important risk factors that predispose a person to the risk.

Relation between Age & Cardiovascular Diseases

With increasing age, the chances of developing a heart disease increase. Like other organs, physiological functioning of the heart also gets reduced with age. The usual changes appear in the form of heart muscles getting stiff, reduction in arterial elasticity and fibrosis. There may be instances of thickening of left ventricular wall, some myocardial fibrosis as well as calcification of the valves. There may be few instances where cardiac output has declined with age. When affected by any cardiovascular disease, the altered physiology might compound the situation and may worsen its treatment.

Relation between Gender & Cardiovascular Diseases

Men aged above 45 years are more prone to cardiovascular disease than women and there are multiple factors that contribute towards this. Pre-menopausal women, have high levels of estrogen, a hormone that helps in increasing levels of HDL (high-density lipoproteins) or the good cholesterol. This shields women against heart diseases.
Another major factor that contributes towards increased predisposition of men towards heart diseases is the way they relieve stress. Working men and women today have equally stressful jobs. But when stress gets overbearing, women cry, discuss, shout and fight. This way they relieve themselves of the stressful conditions. Men keep their emotions bottled up since they have hesitation in being expressive emotionally and this indirectly contributes towards increased stress and impacts cardiac functioning.

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