Why do young women have more heart attacks?

In a worrying new trend, the researchers found that heart attacks were increasing among young women.

When you imagine the typical victim of a heart attack, do you see an older man? Most people do it. Fortunately, deaths from heart disease have steadily declined over the last 40 years as a result of advances in the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease. But oddly, global numbers have stabilized recently and researchers did not know why.

Now, they think they have an answer: heart attacks in the elderly may decrease, but heart attacks in younger people, especially women, are on the rise, according to a new study published in the newspaper Circulation. American Heart Association. As Viola Vaccarino writes in the editorial accompanying the study:

The authors report an astounding increase in the annual incidence of hospitalized MI cases [myocardial infarction] among young women (aged 35 to 54), while the incidence decreased among men in the same age group.

Between 1995 and 1999, women aged 35 to 54 accounted for 21% of those hospitalized for a heart attack. Between 2010 and 2014, this number rose to 31%. For men of the same age, this number rose from 30 to 33%. While the percentage of heart attacks occurring among young men increased slightly over the 20 years of the study, the actual number of heart attacks among men in the age group decreased – young women did not know a similar drop.

How unfair is this? Really unfair, especially since, remarkably, the increase seems to be related to the fact that women are not treated for heart disease in the same way as men.

The researchers found that women hospitalized for a heart attack were less likely than men to receive treatment by opening obstructed arteries (21% less), or receiving recommended medications such as aspirin-free anticoagulants (17% less likely). antagonists (4% less likely) and cholesterol-lowering drugs (13% less likely) reduce the risk of a new heart attack.

Young women with myocardial infarction were also more likely than their male counterparts to have comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure and previous strokes, modifiable risk factors untreated

Since preventing illness through preventative medicine (and better lifestyle habits) saves valuable lives, expenses, and environmental resources – why do not we carry more money? be careful here?

"The increasing incidence of hospitalized MI among young women, as well as similar mortality among women and men in this study, indicate that primary prevention is essential for improving cardiovascular health in women and men." to curb these unfavorable trends, "writes Vaccarino.

Vaccarino notes that it is likely that doctors do not give prevention advice to medicine, explaining that "differences in treatment observed during hospitalization of MI suggest a tendency to underuse strategies of cardiovascular prevention in women at their own risk. "

Traditionally considered wrongly as a "human disease", the study indicates that the recognition of cardiovascular risk in patients is less important than in male patients with similar risk profiles.

Cardiologist Dr. Elizabeth Piccione, who did not participate in the study, said today that part of the problem is that doctors perceive women differently. "For example, if a woman comes in and is suffering from high blood pressure, she is often told that it is because she is anxious," Piccione said. "When a man arrives with the same numbers, he is told that his blood pressure is high."

The authors of the study conclude that there is a "continuing need for effective preventive strategies to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in young people, especially young women". Since atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, it is high time that the message passes.

For more information, visit the American Heart Association's initiative, Go Red for Women, a movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.

In a worrying new trend, the researchers found that heart attacks were increasing among young women.

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