Your Gender Can Impact Your Heart Health More Than You Think

Heart conditions are more common in people who are aged 60 years or older. However, unhealthy lifestyles that include poor dietary habits, lack of sleep, heavy stress, smoking, drinking, and insufficient physical activity increase the risk of cardiovascular problems in all age groups (via Mayo Clinic). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person succumbs to some kind of heart disease in the U.S. every 36 seconds. In fact, around 659,000 people die of heart disease in the country annually.

After surveying the demographics, the CDC has also discovered race, ethnicity, and even gender play roles in the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the available statistics from 2015, heart-related deaths mostly occur in Caucasians and African Americans, closely followed by Asian Americans and Hispanics. The CDC also found that men were more likely to succumb to the disease than women, which confirms that being born a male may increase the risk of heart complications.

Are men at high risk of heart disease?

The Cleveland Clinic reveals that on average, men usually experience heart attack symptoms before women do. In men, the average age for a heart attack is about 66 years, whereas in women it's 70 years. The Cleveland Clinic notes that it may be because of the high estrogen levels in females, which offer a level of protection against cardiovascular issues. However, it might also be due to how the circulation is affected during times of stress. Men's arterial vessels become constricted when they are stressed, putting them at immediate risk of high blood pressure.

Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, male sexual health is a predictor of heart health risks as well. Experts reveal that men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) have a serious chance of developing heart issues. This is even if they do not have any other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Since both the heart and penis are vascular organs, they have visible arteries that can tell a lot about heart health. Experiencing ED can indicate an issue with the arterial system, but it may help doctors diagnose cardiovascular problems before they become more serious.