Heart disease similar for men and women, says study

Verity Stockdale - Apr 2014

Contrary to what some people believe, heart disease prognoses are similar between both men and women.

While there are many physiological and psychological differences between men and women, in many ways we are fundamentally the same - something that a new study has found to be the case when it comes to heart disease.

By analysing data from an international multicentre study of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), scientists have been able to ascertain the fact that both genders with mild coronary artery disease and similar cardiovascular profiles are likely to present similar prognoses.

The results, presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, could therefore be used to gain more insight into heart disease and thereby to address preventative and therapeutic programmes for treating the condition.

Explaining the need for such research, Dr Jonathon Leipsic, director of medical imaging at St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, explained: "There is a tendency to think women's heart disease is very different than men's heart disease.

"Our data show that once plaque accumulates in the coronary arteries, the prognosis is very similar between men and women."

For the study, Dr Leipsic and his team used data from 27,725 individuals across six countries who had undergone CCTA, taking into account other factors that can determine the likelihood of someone developing cardiovascular disease.

"This analysis is exciting, because this has never been shown before," the expert added.

"There's a prevailing belief that mild CAD puts women at greater risk for a major cardiac event compared to men with mild CAD. Our findings show this is just not true."

One way that people can help to ward off heart disease is to make a conscious effort to maintain their cardiovascular fitness. This might be by ensuring they have a healthy and well-balanced diet and undertake the recommended weekly amount of exercise.

Official guidelines state that adults should carry out two different types of exercise in order to stay healthy - that is, both muscle-strengthening and aerobic.

What's more, new research by scientists at Boston University School of Medicine has found that aerobic fitness could do more than just safeguard cardiovascular health.

Published online in Behavioural Brain Research, the findings suggest that hormones that are increased during aerobic exercise could in fact help to improve memory too.

The study's lead investigator Dr Karin Schon, assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at BUSM, commented: "We will be continuing this line of research by testing if memory improves following an exercise training program in both young and geriatric adults, and by adding brain imaging techniques."

Those looking to safeguard their heart's wellbeing and do all they can to maintain optimum blood flow and vascular health might be interested in taking NKCP Nattotabs tablets, available from the Really Healthy Company.

Such a supplement could be particularly beneficial for anyone who leads a relatively sedentary lifestyle or who will be undergoing a prolonged period of inactivity - for example, taking a long-haul flight.

 

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