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

olled in the notable Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension (LIFE) Study. The original study examined over-all blood pressure, but did not examine how LVH differed between men and women taking the drug.

"LVH is a very serious condition. When the heart's muscle is thicker than it should be, the heart has to work harder," says Dr. Okin. Symptoms of LVH include shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, irregular heartbeat and fainting.

"But, there may no be signs or symptoms of LVH for many years, or never at all, making screening with electrocardiography essential," explains Dr. Okin.

The researchers studied electrocardiograms of 9,193 subjects enrolled in the LIFE study. They found that as the five-year follow-up period progressed, the difference of LVH reduction between men and women significantly widened, even though hypertension continued to fall in both genders.

Dr. Okin and his team found that women faired worse when comparing two different measures -- the Cornell product and Sokolow-Lyon voltage -- that assess the magnitude of LVH from the study's beginning to end. The results show that women are 32 percent less likely than men to have a greater reduction of LVH for their Cornell product score. Also, women were found to be 15 percent less likely than men to have had any LVH-regression, based on their Sokolow-Lyon voltage score. The research team controlled for age, race, body mass index, diabetes, smoking and history, and for various known causes of heart disease, like high cholesterol.

"The observed difference in LVH regression, together with the greater prevalence of LVH, might contribute to the explanation of the steeper increase in the risk of CV events with aging in hypertensive women," state the authors of the accompanying editorial.


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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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