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Experts analyse the latest findings

Faced with a torrent of new research, GN Focus asked cardiac specialists for their take on top-of-the-line research

Image Credit: Corbis
GN Focus

What the studies show: According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, a study shows that coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in women over 25, killing more than 250,000 a year in the US. Before they reach their sixties, women are less likely than men to develop heart problems but once the disease does occur, women often fare worse than men. Puzzling differences have emerged between men and women with heart disease, making it plain that past studies, mostly done on men, do not always apply to women.

What the experts say:

Dr Moayad Hassan Flayih: “The main reason women are less likely to develop heart problems before their fifties is because they are protected by hormones until they reach menopause. After crossing this age, men and women face the same risk. With menopause immunity is weaker than before, making certain cases complicated.”

Dr Ahmed Gabroun: “The difference in approach is primarily due to the difference in body structure. This leads to differences between men and women in coping with different diseases. Earlier women were considered an ignored group when it came to coronary diseases. Considering the above reasons, treatment is different and more aggressive for women. For instance, if a woman aged 35 has a BP of 130, this would be treated as a concern and a higher dosage of medication being prescribed is probable; where as a BP of 130 may be normal for a man of the same age.”