What is the difference between a man's and a woman's heart and why does a woman's heart hurt more?
It is often said that a woman's heart is more sensitive, and this is also a scientifically proven fact. What is the difference between a man's and a woman's heart and why does a woman's heart hurt more?
In the words of cardiologist Dr. Svetislav Mališić, it is known in science that the heart, like any other organ, is different in men and women, both anatomically and physiologically.
"A woman's heart is smaller by about 60 grams and beats, on average, six to eight times faster than a man's heart. It is more susceptible to stress, due to the psychological profile of the woman," says Dr. Mališić in "Den vo živo".
The doctor states that when talking about the specificities of the female heart, both in health and in disease, in the last twenty or more years, the focus in clinical cardiology has been on the specificities of the female heart, i.e. the response of the female heart when it comes to cardiovascular diseases.
He adds that the manifestations of cardiovascular diseases in women are somehow different than in men.
Differences in the manifestations of cardiovascular diseases
"Lately, there is more and more talk about ischemic heart disease, heart attack and angina pectoris. Women experience it in a different way. So, chest pain is not necessarily present in women when it comes to ischemic heart disease, previously it was called a pre-infarction condition," says the cardiologist.
According to his words, women very often come with problems such as fatigue, irregular working of the heart, rapid heartbeat, feeling of lack of air, feeling of heaviness in the chest, and even in the end pain comes as a manifestation that could served as a guide for doctors how to further trace the diagnosis and how to treat such patients.
Dr. Mališić explains that the approach is not universal and does not apply only to gender. During the diagnostic and therapeutic procedure, a distinction must be made.
"No chest pain should go undiagnosed, especially among categories of people who are exposed to risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity and, of course, genetics," emphasizes the doctor.
He adds that the most important thing is what we inherited from our parents.
"If our parents are heart patients or diabetics, and we ourselves are exposed to risk factors, there is a high probability that we will also develop cardiovascular diseases at some age," says Dr. Mališić.
When asked if "bad" genetics can be alleviated, the doctor answers that every person should try to lead a moderate and disciplined life.
As he himself says, "that's easy to say, but hard to do in these times when we're all exposed to various stresses."
"A person must dedicate himself to himself. Just as you take care of yourself on the outside, you need to take care of yourself on the inside as well. That is the advice I give to patients," the doctor points out.
He emphasizes that one must pay attention to the way of eating, to avoid risky behaviors, in terms of excessive smoking, taking alcohol, psychostimulants and antidepressants.
"It is especially important for women to emphasize that one of the very important risk factors is taking oral contraceptives, which increases the risk of some thromboembolic events, which are represented in a large percentage by women who use oral contraceptives," says Dr. Malishic.
Women are protected during the reproductive period
If we follow the natural sequence of events and the physiology of women, it can be said that men are spared from cardiovascular diseases precisely because of hormonal activity.
"Women in the reproductive period do not have to worry about getting a heart attack or any more serious organic cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease," emphasizes Dr. Mališić.
However, the doctor says that "when a woman enters menopause, when the menstrual cycle stops and when that hormonal protection stops, women equalize with men in terms of risk factors."