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Coronary artery disease continues to be neglected in women, despite it killing at least as many women as men
Date:7/28/2013

r due to a variety of risk factors.

A wealth of research over recent years has shown that not only has the burden of CAD been underappreciated in women, but also that it can develop differently in women than in men. Different risk factors appear to affect the sexes differently, with obesity increasing risk of CAD by 64% in women but by only 46% in men. Women who suffer a CAD-related heart attack at a younger age (less than 50 years) are twice as likely to die as men in similar circumstances. Among older individuals (over the age of 65), women are more likely to die within the first year after a heart attack. Overall, 42% of women who have heart attacks die within 1 year, compared to 24% of men. And based on pooled estimates from multiple countries, women are also 20% more likely to suffer angina than men.

CT scans and other imaging techniques show that women have narrower coronary arteries than do men, and are more likely to suffer CAD due to microvascular disease. So while appearing not to have major coronary artery obstructions, women suffer symptoms due to blockages of these smaller vessels. Over one-half of symptomatic women without obstructive CAD continue to have signs and symptoms of ischemia and to undergo repeat hospitalisation and coronary angiography.

Women also seem to have greater rates of coronary plaque erosion (where there is abrasion to the surface of a plaque, causing blood clots to form). Men are more likely to have obstructive CAD, which is usually seen when someone has a heart attack. This type of CAD is less frequently seen in women. Traditional risk factors such as age, family history of CAD, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, smoking, and physical inactivity are important predictors of risk in women. In contrast to the linear increase in CAD in men as they age, there is a more exponential increase in CAD in women after the age of 60.

Other differences exist in terms of CAD risk in women. If a woman has a first degree
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Contact: Dr. Martha Gulati
martha.gulati@osumc.edu
773-244-2232
World Heart Federation
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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