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Indian women and the burden of heart ailments
It is now well established that most heart ailments occur due to poor life style and some risk factors which are psycho-social in nature. Women are more affected by the latter in a male dominated society; and at masculinised work places of a patriarchal society.

In Jaipur, a few years ago, a one-day international seminar was held on cardiology at a local hospital on the occasion of World Heart Day which dwelled on the gender perspective of heart troubles. The foreign and Indian cardiologists participated in the seminar to deliberate on various issues related to heart problems from various perspectives to deepen their knowledge about human heart and related issues.

But, during the discussions, it emerged that the heart related issues with Indian women were a cause of great worry. Some of the revealing information that has come out of the seminar with respect to women's heart is as follows:

•             Indian women are more vulnerable to heart diseases due to their narrower arteries as compared the other sex.

•             The narrower arteries cause complexity in clearing the blockages in them during surgery.

•             There is a lesser awareness about heart disorders among women.

•             The most common causes of heart problems among women are high cholesterol levels and premature menopause.

•             Studies show that among the pre-menopausal smoker women, the heart risk is three times higher.

•             Late night jobs and late night sleep affect badly the hormonal levels of women and increase the risk of heart disease among them.

Many feminists hold that the risk rate goes further up due to patriarchal social structure with a lower social status accorded to women leading to a lack of access to the information and resources including proper diet and rest. Even the social support structure for women is often denied in Indian society making them more vulnerable to heart problems.

Wake up this International Women's Day! Don't be unfair to the fairer sex!!

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