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Study reveals that 3 in 5 Women in India are at high risk of cardiovascular disease as early as 35 years of age

In India, in fact women are more at risk of heart disease today than 3 three years ago

September 29, 2014 17:53 IST

The general consensus is that Heart Disease is more prevalent in Men but a recent study has revealed an alarming fact that women in India are equally prone to cardiovascular diseases. In India, in fact women are more at risk of heart disease today than 3 three years ago

The study was conducted in twelve leading metro and non-metro cities of India on 1.6 lakh urban Indians out of which, 32 percent respondents were females and 92 percent of all female respondents were less than 60 years of age. The data from the study was analyzed by IMRB International.

Dr. Pravin Chandra, Chairman and interventional cardiologist, Vedanta-the Medicity said “Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in women are caused due to low HDL and high BMI. Apart from this smoking, diabetes and high BP are other reasons putting women at risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Sedentary lifestyles, stressful work conditions and compromised diet also contribute in accelerating heart disease risk. It is also alarming to note that women aged 35-44  are most at risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes both housewives and working women”.

Facts about Cardiovascular Risk in Indian women

  1. In India, women are more at risk of heart disease today than 3 three years ago
  2. The largest group of women at risk of CVD are aged 35-44
  3. CVD risk is as high amongst housewives as it is amongst working professionals. 69 percent  of Housewives and 67 percent of working professionals over the age of 35 in India are at the risk of CVD
As far as risk factors for CVD are concerned, it was found that low HDL and high BMI are the two most common contributors to CVD risk setting in as early as 35 years for women.

Key findings on risk factors - for CVD risk setting in as early as 35 years

1. Being Overweight is not just about aesthetics, its straining your heart too
  • 3 in 4 women above the age of 35 who are overweight or obese are at risk of CVD

2. Not enough ‘good’ cholesterol a key reason for CVD risk in Women
  • 8 in 10 women above the age of 35who are at CVD risk have low HDL as high level of HDL cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

3. Smoking , Diabetes and High BP are putting women at CVD risk early
  • 90% of women smokers above the age of 35 are at the risk of CVD
  • 97% of women with diabetes above the age of 35 are at the risk of CVD
  • 95% of women above the age of 35 with high BP are at the risk of CVD

4. CVD Risk in Housewives & Working Women
  • 69% of Housewives above 35 years are at risk of Heart disease
  • 67% of working women above 35 years are at risk of Heart disease
  • Housewives at risk of CVD are more likely to be overweight than working women; and more prone to diabetes also.
  • Among women at risk: Working women are less physically active than housewives
Lifestyle factors have also contributed to the increase in CVD risk. In fact it was seen that poor lifestyle choices at an early age (35-44) are common among women at CVD risk

As Ms. Niti Desai, Celebrity Nutritionist and consultant Dietician Nutritionist says “High saturated fat, sugar and salt intake, very low consumption of vegetables and whole grains leading to obesity, coupled with sedentary lifestyles, rising stress levels and smoking are the major contributory factors for deterioration of heart health in women.”

Key findings on Lifestyle Factors-for CVD risk setting in as early as 35 years

1. Women  not making their nutritional needs a priority are at the risk of Heart Disease
  • 73% women above the age of 35 at CVD risk consume 2 or less servings of whole grains per day
2.  Lack of Physical Activity is putting you at risk of Heart Disease more than you think
  • 70% women above the age of 35 at CVD risk are physically active less than thrice a week
3. Working women fare worse than Housewives
  • 56% working women above the age of 35 at risk of CVD eat less than 1 serving of vegetables per day as compared to 46% housewives in the same age bracket.
  • 73% working women above the age of 35 are at risk of CVD are physically active less than thrice a week as compared to 69% housewives in the same age group.

The most important takeaway is that the first step to a healthy heart is for women to assess their current heart condition and hence the immediate need is to go for a heart check-up (cholesterol test). However, the Study disclosed a disturbing fact that out of the women who are at risk if CVD above the age of 35 only 15.4% have ever been to a cholesterol (lipid test) check–up.  The number is even lower for younger women aged 35-44 at 7.8%.# This means that women ignore their own health and are not aware of the extent of risk of cardiovascular disease and are thus unable to take steps for a better heart health.

The need is to encourage women to go for a heart health check-up and accompany her to one.

About the Study: The study was commissioned by Saffolalife™ a not-for-profit initiative started by Saffola around 14 years ago. The objective of the study is to spread awareness of the risk of heart ailments in India, and hence bring down the deaths caused due to Cardio-vascular diseases.

#Data based on a Survey done in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore among 624 respondents.

Disclaimer
* Based on the number of responses received on the Saffolalife Heart Age finder. Study is based on an analysis of information shared on the site by respondents.  Saffolalife makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability of such information. The communication is intended for consumer awareness and not a substitute for medical advice

 

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