Heart attack: Risk factors would have a greater impact on women than men
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Smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure, the risk factors for heart disease, will be even more dangerous for women than for men.
A team from Oxford University investigated 471,998 men and women aged 40 to 69 in the British Biobank group, a long-standing study of cardiovascular diseases in the UK.
At the beginning of the study participants had no cardiovascular problems and followed them for an average of seven years.
In BMJ, the results show that smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and a body mass index greater than 25 increase the risk of heart attack in both males and females.
However, risk factors look more dangerous to women than to men.
If men who smoke twice as large as those who never smoked, smokers would face a risk of heart attack three times more than those who never smoked, which researchers say are "weighted risk".
The researchers also found that women who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day twice as likely to have a heart attack as men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day. Between 10 and 19 cigarettes daily smoked, the risk of heart attack would be 40% higher for women than for men.
This increased risk was observed in women with high blood pressure or diabetes (type I and type II). High blood pressure is associated with an 80% higher risk of heart attack in women, while type I diabetes is at a risk of three times greater than in men (47% more for type II).
However, BMI is not associated with greater risk in women.
Researchers have found that the risk weight has survived over the years.
"Overall, men have more heart attacks than women, but the main risk factors increase the risk of women more than men, so women reporting these risk factors are in a disadvantaged position." explains researcher Elizabeth Millett, in charge of this study.
"These observations show the importance of raising awareness of the risk of heart attacks that women face, ensuring that women, as well as men, have access to diabetes and stress therapy, and just to help stop smoking," said Dr Milet.