Heart Health, Heart Disease, Cardiovascular
- Knowing a Woman's heart - WHU May 2006
- Aspirin, Women & Heart Disease - WHU May 2006
- Hearts not helped by HRT - WHU July 2002
- Depressed women more likely to have heart disease - WHW June 2000
- Exercise and heart disease - WHU Jan 2000
- Group to study women and heart disease - WHU Jan 2000
- Women more prone to early death after heart attacks - WHW Sept 1999
- WHIS pamphlet: Move it or Lose it - A guide to exercise for women at mid-life and after
WHU May 2006
It seems that despite years of speculation by poets and scientists we are no closer to knowing about a woman's heart. WomenHeart, in the US, launched their 10 Q report on Valentines Day to bring greater attention to the significant gaps in our knowledge of women and heart disease. This report sets a powerful research agenda to address gender inequalities.
There is a certain amount of boredom in reporting what has long been noted- we do not know enough about women and heart disease. The 2001 Institutes of Medicine report on biological contributions to human health focused greater attention on the sex differences in biological function and the fall out from the 1998 HRT studies brought greater attention to the lack of knowledge around women and heart disease. Despite the belief that women "have made it" women's health status continues to reflect women's position, power and roles in society. Women's health activists have long called for attention to the whole women while health research continues to reflect a 'bikini' approach to women's health, focusing on breasts and the reproductive system....Read More (pdf)
WHU May 2006
Although both men and women have been regularly taking aspirin preventatively for heart disease, this practice has largely been based on the study of men. Recent research has uncovered that aspirin as a prophylactic behaves differently in men and women. This research highlights the dearth of knowledge about women and heart disease and challenges practices that have relied solely on the study of mens health....Read More (pdf)
July 2002 Women's Health Update
Longer follow-up from the HERS study provides more bad news about hormone replacement therapy. After the first four years, HERS had shown an early increase in heart events in the study participants, women with coronary heart disease (CHD), but the effect levelled out at the end of the period. There was speculation that over a longer timeframe benefits might emerge, leading to the slogan 'Don't start, don't stop'.
But after another average 2.7 years follow-up of some study participants, no benefit emerged in the study, called HERS II. There was also no reduction in strokes among users of HRT....
June 2000 Women's Health Watch
Depressed women are more likely to develop coronary heart disease, according to a major American study. The researchers from Ohio State University College of Medicine studied more than 5000 women and nearly 3000 men who did not have heart disease in the early 1980s. These people were also evaluated for depression. Follow-up has found the participants who were depressed were more likely to have developed coronary heart disease. The depressed men were more likely to have died of heart disease but depression had no effect on the death rate in women. The reason for this result is unclear, the researchers say.
The research team says there was already evidence about links between depression and heart disease in men but little information about depression and heart disease among women. Future research should focus on finding out why depressed people may develop heart disease and finding ways to lower the risks.
Ref: Arch Intern Med 2000; 160:1261-68
January 2000 Women's Health Watch
Brisk walking substantially reduces women's risk of developing heart disease. Harvard researchers studied more than 72,000 women to find out whether walking or vigorous exercise were most effective for heart disease prevention. The study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that both walking and vigorous exercise reduced the number of heart attacks among the women studied. Women who walked the equivalent of three or more hours a week at a brisk pace, as well as those who exercised regularly and vigorously, had a low risk of heart disease compared to women who exercised infrequently. Inactive women who became active in middle age or later had a lower risk of heart disease than women who remained sedentary.
Ref: NEJM 1999;341:650-658
January 2000 Women's Health Update
Research has shown that women are less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease even when they present with the same symptoms as men and that women are less likely to get referrals for specialist help. A grant proposal has been drawn up for funding applications and the group is currently seeking ethical approval for the study. Data collection is due to begin in March.
The Women and Heart Disease Planning Group plans to meet at regular intervals to monitor progress on the research goals. Anyone interested in being involved in this group should contact Cheryl Campbell on +64 9 373 7599 or fax +64 9 9 373 7624 extn 4324.
September 1999 Women's Health Watch
Young women who have heart attacks are much more likely to die during hospitalisation than men, or older women, says a large US study.
Earlier studies had shown conflicting results about early deaths following heart attacks in women compared to men. The researchers analysed data on 155,565 women and 229,313 men aged between 30 and 89 years who were enrolled on a national registry between June 1994 and January 1998.
They found that overall mortality was 16.7% in women compared to 11.5% in men. Sex-based differences in mortality differed according to age. Among patients younger than 50 years, the mortality rate for women was twice that of men. The difference in rates decreased with age and was no longer significant after the age of 74 years.
It is not clear why this occurs, and the researchers called for special study of this high- risk group. They found that only one-third of the difference between men and women could be accounted for by differences in medical history, the clinical severity of the heart attack, and early management.
Ref: NEJM 1999; 341: 217-225