Women twice as likely to die after heart attack than men, says study
Dr Nighat reveals heart attacks symptoms in women
Dr Mariana Martinho said: “Women of all ages who experience a myocardial infarction [i.e. a heart attack] are at particularly high risk of a poor prognosis.”
The doctor, based at Hospital Garcia de Orta in Almada, Portugal, said: “Women need regular monitoring after their heart event.”
Following such an ordeal, there needs to be “strict control of blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes, and referral to cardiac rehabilitation”.
The research findings come off the back of a study involving 884 patients who were, on average, around 62 years of age.
Dr Martinho added: “Women had a two to three times higher likelihood of adverse outcomes than men in the short- and long-term.
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“Even after adjusting for other conditions and despite receiving PCI [i.e. stents] within the same timeframe as men.”
Interestingly, postmenopausal women had worse short- and long-term outcomes after a heart attack compared to men of a similar age.
For women who had not gone through menopause, while the short-term mortality outlook matched their male counterparts, their long-term prognosis was poorer.
Dr Martinho concluded: “The findings are another reminder of the need for greater awareness of the risks of heart disease in women.
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“More research is required to understand why there is gender disparity in prognosis after myocardial infarction so that steps can be taken to close the gap in outcomes.”
How to reduce the risk of a heart attack
The NHS says: “Making lifestyle changes is the most effective way to prevent having a heart attack.”
There are key elements to reducing your risk of a heart attack, which are to:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Do not smoke
- Try to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
To expand on each point briefly, people should adhere to a “Mediterranean-style diet”.
The health body explains: “This means eating more bread, fruit, vegetables and fish, and less meat.”
A healthy blood pressure reading is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, or below 150/90mmHg if you’re 80 or older.
The findings were presented on Monday, May 22 at Heart Failure 2023, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
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