Why COVID related stress presents greater risks for woman
Dec. 2, 2020
COVID stress has had a more significant impact on women than men. Cardiologist Dr. Rachel Bond talks about how stress is a major risk factor for heart attacks in women. She will also discuss the differences in symptoms between men and women when it comes to heart attacks.
Greater risks for women
“Woman like to take on the weight of the world. They like to make sure that everyone is taken care of before even themselves and at the end of the day, that includes even their health.”
Bond says stress is a potential risk factor for heart disease. “Women tend to have higher degrees for stress,” said Bond, noting that the women’s stress leading to heart disease may be more severe.
Although stress is not a “traditional risk factor, it is still a risk factor nonetheless,” said Bond, who believes stress should be screened more often due to the ongoing pandemic.
The classic symptom of a heart attack, the clutching of the chest often seen in movies, does appear in both men and women, said Bond. However, one-third of the time, females may not feel chest pain at all — instead feeling sensations or pain elsewhere.
“So our body has been wired to respond to stress, it’s called the fight-or-flight response,” said Bond making the distinction between stress that is good for the body and stress that may lead to adverse effects. “There is good stress, that stress that motivates you to achieve your highest degree in life, but it’s really the bad stress that is the stress that perseverates in your mind.”
According to Bond, doctors have standardized tools that have been proven effective at determining the severity of stress. This can help determine whether or not the stress can be coped with or would require help from a mental health professional.