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Women less likely than men to change habits that increase heart disease risk
Date:9/10/2007

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The researchers used data from the Dallas Heart Study a multi-ethnic, population-based study of more than 6,000 patients in Dallas County designed to examine cardiovascular disease. Participants came for three office visits for blood pressure and heart-rate measurements, participated in detailed in-home surveys, and had imaging tests that looked for calcium buildup in the coronary arteries.

Those with family histories of heart disease had an increased prevalence of early heart disease, such as buildup of fatty deposits and calcium in the arteries.

Young women with family histories of heart disease had the highest rate of tobacco use (40 percent compared to 25.2 percent of females without cardiovascular disease histories) and had elevated unhealthy body-mass index rates (51 percent compared to 44.4 percent for females without histories) despite a slightly lower rate of sedentary lifestyles (40.1 percent compared to 43.9 percent).

The data from males showed narrower differences in both tobacco use (37 percent for those with family histories, 34.8 for those without) and high BMI readings (38.1 percent compared to 30.3 percent) while also revealing more regular activity (20.7 percent of men with family histories of heart disease reported sedentary lifestyles compared to 38.2 percent for those without histories).

Its important that women get this message and make appropriate lifestyle changes. The earlier you make lifestyle changes, the more you decrease your risk factors for heart disease in the future, Dr. Khera said. Its equally important that physicians ask questions about family history because you dont need a blood test or any fancy diagnostic tests to uncover a trend. If a patient has a family history of heart attacks, they have an increased risk of heart disease and warrant further studies and more aggressive risk factor changes.


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Contact: Katherine Morales
katherine.morales@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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