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Gender differences and heart disease
Date:7/1/2008

NEW YORK (July 1, 2008) -- Women may respond less favorably than men to cardiovascular disease (CV) drug-treatments for enlarged heart, according to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center physician-scientists.

For the first time, researchers have uncovered that women derive a lesser benefit than men from two common high-blood-pressure-lowering drugs -- losartan and atenolol -- for the reduction of left-ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). The condition is a thickening and enlargement of muscle of the left ventricle of the heart and a marker for future heart disease. The observations were made despite results showing that blood pressure reduction was similar between genders.

These important findings might explain how this underlying condition puts women at greater risk for heart disease later in life. CV is the leading cause of death in Western countries in both sexes. However, following a period of relative protection, before menopause, a woman's risk becomes significantly larger.

"Women have a greater chance of dying of their first heart attack and from stroke, and they tend to have more cardiovascular problems later in life compared with men," says the study's lead author, Dr. Peter M. Okin, a noted cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and professor of medicine in the Greenberg Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. "Certain tell-tale indicators of high-blood pressure, like LVH regression, clearly show that men and women do not respond the same to hypertension drugs."

The study and a significant accompanying editorial were just published in Hypertension, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Over a five-year follow-up, men and women demonstrated similar outcomes in lowering their blood pressure while on either losartan- or atenolol-based treatment. However, the degree in reduction in LVH was significantly greater in men than women enr
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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