Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Unhealthy lifestyle is more risky for women than for men

Smoking diabetes & hypertension spike heart attack risk in women Click for full image
Celia Hoffman | 10 November, 2018, 18:27

High blood pressure was the leading factor; it raised a woman's risk of heart attack by 83% more than it raised the risk in a man. Smoking raised a woman's risk of heart attack 55% more, while Type 2 diabetes - which is linked to a poor diet - had a 47% greater impact on heart attacks among women compared with men.

Over an average of seven years, 5,081 people (29 per cent of whom were women) had their first heart attack, meaning that the incidence of heart attack was 7.76 per 10,000 person years in women compared with 24.35 per 10,000 person years in men.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the study included 471,998 people aged between 40 and 69 who were enrolled in the UK Biobank databse.

Eating 30 per cent or more of a day's calories after 6 p.m. was associated with a 23 % higher risk of developing high blood pressure and a 19 % higher risk of becoming pre-diabetic.

For example, women with type II diabetes 96% more likely to suffer a heart attack than women.

Eating a meal rich in calories for dinner can increase the risk of diabetes as well as lead to poorer cardiovascular health, researchers have warned.

Researchers also looked at the risk of heart attack associated with ageing.

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The study also highlights the need for doctors to be vigilant when their female patients are elderly, smoke, have diabetes or have high blood pressure.

Meanwhile high blood pressure increased the female risk of heart attack by an extra 83 per cent relative to male, and for diabetes the relative increased risk was 47 per cent.

The researchers, writing in the BMJ, said women should receive the same treatments as men and be offered support to stop smoking.

"These differences in fat distribution have a different impact on the metabolic system and might explain some of the sex difference seen for diabetes". "However, several major risk factors increase the risk in women more than they increase the risk in men, so women with these factors experience a relative disadvantage", said Elizabeth Millett, epidemiologist from The George Institute in the UK.

In the United Kingdom, women with diabetes are 15 per cent less likely than men with diabetes to receive all recommended care processes and may be less likely to achieve target values when treated for cardiovascular risk factors.

Led by a team of Oxford University scientists, the study found that women who smoke heavily are twice as likely to have a heart attack than men who smoke the same number of cigarettes.

Dr Millett added: "Women need to be aware they're at risk, but despite lots of campaigns, it's still under the radar of most women". Doctors must ensure that women and men have equal access to health care programs addressing these conditions, researchers said. But, women are likely to experience additional symptoms such as unusual tiredness, dizziness, cold sweats, and nausea or vomiting. Professor Metin Avkiran, of the British Heart Foundation in a statement said, "This is an important reminder that heart disease does not discriminate, so we must shift perceptions that it only affects men".

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