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Female heart disease call

Monday July 29th, 2013

The growing risk to women posed by heart disease is being neglected, experts claimed last night.

Growing rates of obesity and smoking mean that women are succumbing to the disease at ever-younger ages, according to a new study.

Researchers say women are less likely than men to get advice about avoiding the disease as well as preventative treatments such as statins and aspirins.

The study is published by the World Heart Federation in its journal Global Heart.

The researchers say obesity has a greater impact on women's risk than men's - increasing it by 64% compared with an impact of 46% on men.

Researchers Dr Kavita Sharma and Dr Martha Gulati, of The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA, say there is growing evidence that men and women may benefit from differences in treatment - and call for more research on this.

They state: "Women are affected by coronary artery disease in large numbers and to a large degree. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of mortality in women. The manifestation of coronary artery disease has unique characteristics in women.

"Increasing data demonstrate that some treatment strategies have sex-specific effectiveness."

The findings were backed by the British Heart Foundation.

Chief executive Simon Gillespie said: "Women with heart disease are under-diagnosed, undertreated and unaware that this condition can kill them.

“Coronary heart disease is largely preventable and so it’s unacceptable over 30,000 women die as a result of coronary heart disease each year in the UK. We need more female-focused research into the diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease so we can set about reducing the number of women we’re losing to the UK’s single biggest killer."

Kavita Sharma et al. Coronary Artery Disease in Women: A 2013 Update. Global Heart July 2013; doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2013.02.001

Tags: Heart Health | North America | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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