Friday February 21, 2020

Women More Likely to Die Because of Heart Failure Than Men, Says Study

Men and women have different biologies and this results in different types of the same heart diseases

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Heart Failure
The researchers explain that many of the differences between woman and men when it comes to heart Failure are connected to the sex hormone, oestrogen. Pixabay

Researchers have found that more women than men die of heart failure and 50 per cent of the heart failure cases among women are caused by having a heart attack, which can be treated with modern methods.

According to the study, 50 per cent of women experiencing heart failure and the cause is generally related to having untreated high blood pressure levels over time, which leads to progressive stiffening of the heart. There is no effective treatment for this kind of heart failure yet, the study published in the journal Nature Medicine.

“Men and women have different biologies and this results in different types of the same heart diseases. It is about time to recognise these differences,” said study researcher Eva Gerdts from University of Bergen in Norway.

For the study, the researchers have compared common risk factors for heart diseases and how these affect men and women differently. They have, among other things, focused on the sex differences in the effect of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

According to The World Health Organization (WHO), 11 per cent women and 15 per cent men are obese (BMI over 30 kg/ m2) globally. In Norway, one in five adults are obese.

“If we see this from a life span perspective, we can see that obesity increases with age, and that this trend is greater for women than men. Obesity increases the risk of having high blood pressure by a factor of three. This, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease,” Gerdts said.

According to the researchers, obesity also increases the risk of diabetes 2. A woman with diabetes has a much higher relative risk of heart complications and death than a man. “We know that women with diabetes 2 are usually obese and some of the fat is stored in the heart, which makes it more vulnerable for disease,” Gerdts added.

The researchers explain that many of the differences between woman and men when it comes to heart disease are connected to the sex hormone, oestrogen. The hormone prevents the formation of connective tissue in the heart, which makes it harder for the heart to pump blood. In men the effects are just the opposite.

Heart Failure
Researchers have found that more women than men die of heart failure and 50 per cent of the heart failure cases among women are caused by having a heart attack, which can be treated with modern methods. Pixabay

“We see that obese men store oestrogen in their fat cells in the abdomen, which has a bad effect on the heart,” Gerdts said. After menopause, women lose the oestrogen advantage. Their arteries become stiffer and more vulnerable for diseases, the study said.

“We think that this is part of the explanation for why high blood pressure seems to indicate higher risk of heart disease amongst women,” Gerdts said. In addition, smoking is also a part of the risk scenario for women.

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“For women, the effects of risk factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure increase after menopause,” Gerdts concluded. (IANS)

Next Story

Higher Fruits and Vegetables Intake Beneficial for Women: Health Researchers

Higher fruits intake linked to fewer menopausal symptoms

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A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables is known to benefit the human body in so many ways. Pixabay

A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables is known to benefit the human body in so many ways, as now health and lifestyle researchers have found that it may also play a role in lessening various menopause symptoms.

Although hormone therapy has been proven to be an acceptable method for treatment of menopause-related symptoms for many women, the search for nonpharmacologic treatment options is ongoing, especially for women with certain risk factors and those who are not candidates for hormone therapy.

Specifically, there has been a focus on identifying modifiable lifestyle factors that might prevent or alleviate menopause symptoms, said the study, published in the Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.

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Eating fruits and vegetables may also play a role in lessening various menopause symptoms. Pixabay

“This small cross-sectional study provides some preliminary evidence regarding the influence of fruit and vegetable intake on menopause symptoms,” said study researcher Stephanie Faubion from The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in the US.

NAMS is North America’s leading nonprofit organisation dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging.

According to the researchers, previous studies have suggested that dietary factors may play a critical role in estrogen production, metabolism, and consequently, menopause symptoms.

In particular, the consumption of fruits or a Mediterranean-style diet, characterised by a high content of vegetables, fruits, cereals, and nuts, was linked to fewer menopause symptoms and complaints.

This new study goes a step further in looking at specific fruits and vegetables and their effects on various menopause symptoms.

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Citrus fruits, for example, were called out as having an adverse effect on urogenital scores compared with other types of fruits, as were green leafy or dark yellow vegetables compared with other vegetables, they added.

“There is ample evidence that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables has a beneficial effect on health in a myriad of ways, but additional study is needed to determine whether various menopause symptoms may be affected by dietary choices,” Faubion said. (IANS)