January 07 : It is found that women die from heart attacks more often than men. About 50 percent of women who suffer from cardiac arrest get the wrong treatment as the heart failure was caused by other reasons and not by a heart attack, revealed a new study.
Concern over lack of treatment
A new study by the University of Bergen pointed out that 50 percent of the heart failure cases among women are related to high blood pressure, which is never treated, leading to the stiffening of the heart. Scientists have still not found an effective treatment for this kind of heart failure.
Professor Eva Gerdts at the University of Bergen expressed concern over the fact that although heart disease is one of the most common causes of death among women, we still do not have a good treatment for heart failure in women.
Heart diseases affect men and women differently
Eva Gerdts explained that men and women have different body systems. So they experience the same heart diseases in different ways. It is high time that these differences are recognised, Gerdts suggested.
The researchers compared the risk factors for heart diseases and how they affect men and women differently. They focused on sex differences with regard to obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
How heart diseases affect men and women differently are connected to the sex hormone. Oestrogen is one of the main female sex hormones, which prevents the formation of connective tissue in the heart, making it difficult for the heart to pump. After menopause, when women lose the benefits of oestrogen, their arteries become stiff. This leads to a higher risk of heart diseases.
During the past decades, it is found that more women are smoking than men. Smoking among women increases after menopause, which further increases the risk of heart diseases.
Obesity is a major cause for heart diseases
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), although 11 percent of women compared to 15 percent men are obese (BMI over 30 kg/ m2) globally, it is found that obesity increases with age and the trend is greater in women than men.
Obesity definitely increases the risk of high blood pressure, and this, in turn, increases the risk of heart diseases. Obesity also increases the risk of diabetes 2, and a woman with diabetes has a higher risk of heart complications and death than a man. Women who suffer from diabetes 2 are usually obese and some of the fat is stored in their hearts, leading to a higher risk of heart diseases. On the other hand, in obese men, sex hormones are stored in the fat cells of the abdomen.