Women and Heart Disease – Cardiovascular System Example

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"Women and Heart Disease" is an engrossing example of a paper on the cardiovascular system. The essay aims to address a two-fold objective to wit: (1) to provide an overview between women and the development of heart disease; and (2) to answer the questions provided. Introduction “ Man, take care of the woman’ s heart because it is so fragile – so fragile that it could be broken easily. ” These are often the words of a parent when entrusting their daughter to the man they are going to marry or to her boyfriend. Would you believe that these words have a scientific explanation and connection to the present health problems women are facing today?

Yes, women’ s heart is so fragile from stressors and could easily wear out. According to the current statistics, 1 out 3 women or approximately 50% of women are at high risk of developing heart disease than men (Wenger and Collins, 2005, 7); thus, debates about the severity and fatality of heart disease among women are put into the study by several researchers. Prompt One-Provide an overview of women's health as it relates to myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction, along with Q-wave myocardial infarction, belongs to the group of conditions described as acute coronary syndromes.

The most common cause is obstruction from a ruptured or eroded plaque and occlusion of the thrombi. For the past decades, it has only been men that are often the subject of cardiovascular studies because of the most commonly presenting symptom – chest pain. Little did everyone know that aside from chest pain, acute myocardial infarction (angina) may also present with symptoms of pain that radiate to the neck, throat, shoulders, and back, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, unexplained sweating, and difficulty of breathing (Mayer, 2005, 169).

Therefore, when women go to a healthcare provider, the symptoms she experienced are often misdiagnosed or are late-diagnosed. Unknowingly, women’ s health conditions can become worst because of the inappropriate or delay in treatment which has contributed to the high incidence and mortality rates from myocardial infarction. In addition, women also experience changes in biological processes soon after the cessation of the menstrual periods (menopausal stage). In this stage, healthcare providers often overlook the symptoms of myocardial infarction because it coincides with the cardiovascular changes being experienced by women once the menopausal stage starts and with the sympathetic response being experienced by aging women. Generally, the health of the women in relation to myocardial infarction has been overlooked because previous studies have not discriminated against the presenting symptoms and conditions for myocardial infarction among men and women, as well as for those aging women.

Sex differences must be addressed promptly by healthcare providers to improve the general health of women and prevent the worst implications of myocardial infarction. Prompt Two- Discuss the implications for the high mortality rate related to myocardial infarction among women. Due to the discovery that high mortality rates related to myocardial infarction among women resulted from improper or late diagnosis, a number of new approaches to management, advances in treatment, and sex-differential studies have been conducted. Management.

Health care practitioners currently predicted that the pattern for the age of onset of myocardial infarction among women is usually 20 years later than men. Statistics and data will always confirm higher mortality rates among women, especially African American women (Bhalerao, 2013, 23).

Managing myocardial infarction among women is far different from men and several risk factors related to the lifestyle, diet, and aging of women must be considered. For instance, hormone therapy was no longer beneficial to postmenopausal women as the therapy actually increases their risks for fatal heart attacks. They are also at risk for relapse, major bleeding, and diabetes (the most powerful determinant of myocardial infarction in women). Aggressive therapy is necessary for women; however, limitations in anatomical structures such as smaller coronary arteries than men and hormonal changes impede the delivery of aggressive therapy. Advances in Treatment.

The work of several researchers has helped a lot in the advancement of treatment for women with myocardial infarction. Adjunctive pharmacotherapy became a beneficial intervention for women and stents have been used for both sexes as a study supports the hypothesis that there are no sex differences with regards to the use of stents (Committee on Women's Health Research, Institute of Medicine, 2010, 117). Sex-Differential Studies. Early recognition and treatment of women with myocardial infarction could have been more possible if women increase their involvement in cardiovascular clinical trials.

Even though awareness has been cultivated among the population and healthcare providers, statistical significance and meta-analytic studies must be established to support sex-differential approaches in treating myocardial infarction. Moreover, studies related to biologic sex differences need to be increased to further enhance disparities in the prevalence of myocardial infarction among men and women. Prompt Three-Identify nurse education related to heart disease prevention. The role of the nurse in educating women on how to prevent heart disease is crucial to the success of healthcare among women and in the battle against reducing high mortality rates of women developing the disease.

The nurse should teach the patient how to observe atypical symptoms and when to warrant consultation to a medical provider. In conducting good health education and prevent heart disease, a nurse should bear in mind words such as awareness, education, and change. Initially, a nurse should inform the patient that women are more prone to develop heart disease than men. He/She should imbibe awareness and lifestyle check on the part of the patient. It is the nurse’ s responsibility to discuss the effects of smoking, high-fat diet, stress, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and obesity on the development of heart disease.

A positive health education would prompt the client to address a reduction in these precipitating factors for developing heart disease and is evidence of awareness. When awareness has already been established, education must immediately begin. Aside from lifestyle changes, patients must also be taught independent management. Role modeling is a part of education. The nurse will initially demonstrate procedures on how to take good care of one’ s health.

For instance, since blood pressure and pulse rate monitoring are essential in the early detection of myocardial infarction, the nurse will demonstrate the skill to the patient. Before leaving the health institution, the nurse must make sure that the patient can do the skill. This is to promote the independence of care and prevention of worsening the disease. Heart disease is a traitor type of disease. You will never know when the attack will happen or if a patient could be cured. The only significant indicator of success in prevention is when the patient finally adopts all the lifestyle changes and be able to control the severity of the condition.

This is what we call, change! On the other note, if the patient is already diagnosed with myocardial infarction, management centralizes on symptom control, myocardial tissue preservation, and preventing complications (Muma and Lyons, 2012, 118). Patients should be cautioned on the use of nitrates, morphine, and aspirin due to biological changes in women. Patients should also receive advanced education on future operations and cardiac rehabilitation. Prompt Four-Discuss the impact that Obama Care will have on the healthcare of women. The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obama Care) definitely aims to address gender disparity in healthcare and expand insurance coverage intended for women.

Under Obama Care, women have given more access and equal rights to preventive women’ s health services. Obama Care's vision of prevention to avoid further medical expenses due to a disease coincides with the first mission of healthcare practitioners – prevention. In addition, Obama Care has a significant impact on the future reduction of high mortality rates among women as Aspirin is recommended to women of ages 55-99 to prevent cardiovascular disease while cholesterol screening is recommended for women ages 22 and above who are at an increased risk for coronary artery disease. Prompt Five-As a future nurse, how would you plan to address this issue? As a future nurse, I would plan to address the issue of high mortality rates of women from myocardial infarction by embodying the following roles: (1) conducting a clinical trial or study with statistical significance and meta-analyses about men and women with myocardial infarction to establish scientific proof; (2) participating in an intensive health education program among women who are at an increased risk for developing myocardial infarction; and (3) advocating and empowering women’ s rights in healthcare by being an active member of legislation. Conclusion Women are at an increased risk for myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular disorders because of biological and lifestyle factors.

Myocardial infarction is often undetected because women present with atypical symptoms. Healthcare practitioner plays a vital role in the early detection and management of myocardial infarction, as well as governmental support for preventive services concerning women.


Bhalerao, J. (2013). Coronary Artery Disease in Women: A Special Consideration. In Essentials of Clinical Cardiology (pp. 23-24). New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers.

Committee on Women's Health Research, Institute of Medicine. (2010). Research on Conditions with Particular Relevance to Women. In Women's Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise (pp. 95-220). DC: National Academic Press.

Mayer, B. (2005). Alphabetical Listings of Diseases and Disorders. In Women's Health: A Guide to Health Promotion and Disorder Management (pp. 160-496). MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishing.

Muma, R.D., and Lyons, B.A. (2012). Cardiovascular Disorders. In-Patient Education: A Practical Approach (2nd ed.) (pp. 104-125). MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

Wenger, N.K., and Collins, P. (2005). Epidemiology of Coronary Heart Disease in Women. In Women and Heart Disease (2nd ed.) (pp. 1-20). Oxon: Taylor and Francis Imprint.

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