More women than men die of heart failure. The reason is that only 50 per cent of the heart failure cases among women are caused by having a heart attack, which can be treated with modern methods.
For the other 50 per cent of women experiencing heart failure the cause is generally related to having untreated high blood pressure levels over time, which leads to progressive stiffening of the heart. There is no effective treatment for this kind of heart failure yet.
Men and women have different biologies and this results in different types of the same heart diseases. It is about time to recognize these differences.
Another important point concerning how to avoid heart disease is to ask about what the national health service is doing on this issue. Heart disease remains among the most common cause of death and reduced quality of life in women. Medically speaking, we still do not know what the best treatment for heart- attack or -failure is in many women. It is an unacceptable situation." Professor Eva Gerdts, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen
Gerdts has recently published an invited review paper in Nature together with Professor Vera Regitz-Zagrosek ved Charité Universitätsmedizin.
The researchers have compared common risk factors for heart disease and how these affect men and women differently. They have, among other things, focused on the sex differences in the effect of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Women gain more weight
According to The World Health Organization (WHO) 11 per cent women and 15 per cent men are obese (BMI over 30 kg/ m2) globally. In Norway one in five adults are obese.
"If we see this from a life span perspective, we can see that obesity increases with age, and that this trend is greater for women than men. Obesity increases the risk of having high blood pressure by a factor of three. This, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease," Gerdts points out. Related Stories
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