Men and Women Share Heart Disease Risk

Updated: Oct 14

A recent study published in Lancet explored the gender differences between several risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

This study was conducted across 21 countries from 5 continents with varying income levels and included metabolic (ex: diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity), behavioral (ex: smoking, diet), and psychological (depression, economic status) risk factors for approximately 156,000 individuals.

The study was conducted over a 10-year period on individuals 35-70 without a history of cardiovascular disease.

The primary outcome of the study was a composite of major cardiovascular events.

While the study revealed that overall, women had a lower risk of CVD than men, most of the risk factors were shared between genders, with a couple of exceptions.

For women, the diet was more strongly correlated with CVD, whereas men had a higher risk of elevated LDL cholesterol and depression.

Women's Heart Risk

The patterns of these findings were generally similar in high-income countries and upper-middle-income countries, and in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

Because most risk factors are similar between men and women, this emphasizes the importance of employing similar strategies for prevention.

According to the World Health Organization, CVD is by far the #1 killer worldwide, killing roughly 18 million people per year, more than 80% of which are due to heart attack or stroke.

Identifying patients at risk for CVD and ensuring appropriate intervention can prevent premature deaths.


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