Understanding Gender Differences in Heart Disease: Importance of Preventive Health Assessments

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Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, affecting both men and women. However, it’s important to recognise that heart disease can manifest differently in each gender. Understanding these gender differences is crucial for effective prevention and management.

In this article, we explore how men and women experience heart disease differently and emphasise the significance of preventive health assessments in identifying risk factors and promoting heart health.

By utilising preventive health assessments, individuals can take proactive steps towards mitigating the impact of heart disease. Let’s delve into the gender-specific aspects of heart disease and the role of preventive health assessments.

Gender-Specific Heart Disease Risk Factors

Heart disease risk factors can differ between men and women. By understanding these gender-specific factors, individuals can better assess their own risk and take preventive measures accordingly.

  1. Hormonal Differences: Oestrogen, a hormone more prevalent in women, provides a level of protection against heart disease. However, after menopause, women experience a decline in oestrogen levels, increasing their risk of heart disease. For men, decreasing testosterone levels with age may also contribute to an increased risk.
  2. Age of Onset: Men generally develop heart disease at an earlier age than women. However, after menopause, women’s risk catches up and may surpass that of men. This shift highlights the importance of preventive health assessments in mid-life for both genders.
  3. Risk Factors: While some risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity, affect both men and women, certain factors can have a more significant impact on each gender. For instance, diabetes is a stronger risk factor for heart disease in women than in men. Additionally, conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and pregnancy complications may increase the risk for women.
  4. Prevalence and Mortality: According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. However, men tend to experience heart disease at an earlier age. Women, on the other hand, often have a higher risk of death from heart attacks. In fact, heart disease claims the lives of more women than all forms of cancer combined.
  5. Symptoms and Diagnosis: Research shows that men and women may present with different symptoms, leading to varied diagnoses and potential delays in treatment. Men often experience classic symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort, while women may have more subtle or atypical symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and nausea.

Gender Differences in Heart Disease Symptoms

Heart disease symptoms can vary between men and women. Recognising these differences is essential for early detection and timely medical intervention.

Men often experience classic symptoms, such as chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and radiating pain in the left arm. However, it’s important to note that some men may also present with atypical symptoms, including jaw pain, back pain, or digestive discomfort.

Women tend to exhibit more subtle and atypical symptoms. These can include fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or discomfort in the back, neck, or jaw. Women may also experience symptoms during rest or sleep. Unfortunately, these atypical symptoms can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment. (https://kidsrkids.com/)


The Role of Preventive Health Assessments in Gender-Specific Heart Disease Prevention

Preventive health assessments play a vital role in identifying gender-specific risk factors, assessing overall heart health, and promoting proactive measures to prevent heart disease.

  1. Comprehensive Evaluation: Regular preventive health assessments provide an opportunity to evaluate an individual’s overall heart health, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body mass index (BMI), and other vital indicators. These assessments can detect early signs of heart disease and help individuals make informed decisions about their health.
  2. Personalised Risk Assessment: Preventive health assessments enable healthcare professionals to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment based on gender-specific factors and individual health profiles. This assessment helps identify specific risk factors and develop personalised preventive strategies.
  3. Lifestyle Modifications: Preventive health assessments offer an opportunity for healthcare professionals to provide targeted advice on lifestyle modifications. This includes recommendations for physical activity, diet, stress management, and smoking cessation, tailored to each individual’s needs and gender-specific risk factors.
  4. Regular Monitoring: Follow-up preventive health assessments allow for continuous monitoring of heart health and early detection of any changes or developments in risk factors. This ensures timely intervention and adjustments to the preventive plan.

Understanding the gender differences in heart disease is essential for effective prevention and management. By recognising the unique risk factors, symptoms, and challenges faced by men and women, healthcare professionals can provide targeted interventions and empower individuals to take control of their heart health.

Preventive health assessments serve as a cornerstone in this approach, offering comprehensive evaluations, personalised risk assessments, and opportunities for lifestyle modifications. Through regular monitoring and proactive measures, individuals can reduce their risk of heart disease and lead healthier, fulfilling lives. Embrace the power of preventive health assessments and prioritise your heart health today.

Heart Health at Echelon Health

Finding heart issues at the earliest stage possible or perhaps averting an episode before it occurs is one of the most crucial criteria for a good prognosis. A health evaluation with your doctor will help you understand your health and identify strategies for managing or enhancing it.

We are committed to offering the most thorough health examination imaginable using our extensive medical experience and the greatest imaging equipment accessible in the UK. This relates to heart illness, and our Healthy Heart package seeks to recognise numerous heart conditions in their earliest stages. It can aid in the detection of arrhythmia as well as other conditions including coronary heart disease. Here is what is included in our Healthy Heart assessment:

  • Medical questionnaire
  • Blood tests
  • ECG
  • CT coronary angiogram
  • Final consultation

However, for those interested in in a full bill of health, we have our flagship Platinum Assessment. The Platinum Assessment is one of the most comprehensive in the world. Combining a thorough set of blood tests (over 40 parameters including cancer markers) and the best imaging technology available today through CT, MRI and ultrasound scans it can detect up to 92% and up to 95% of the causes of premature death among men and women respectively.

If you are interested in an in-depth look of your health, then the Platinum Assessment is the way to go. Please contact us for further information or to book your assessment today! Our team will be delighted to help.





American Heart Association. (2021). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2021 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 143(8), e254–e743.

Heron, M. (2021). Deaths: Leading Causes for 2017. National Vital Statistics Reports, 68(6), 1–77.

Kannel, W. B., & Hjortland, M. C. (1978). The U-shapedness of the relation of the severity of cardiovascular risk factors to the development of cardiovascular disease in apparently healthy men. Cardiology, 63(5), 237-246.

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