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Gender no marker for treating heart disease

Similar associations of risk factors found in global, multi-centric study involving 1.55 lakh participants

September 10, 2022 07:19 pm | Updated September 11, 2022 01:31 pm IST - CHENNAI

A photo illustration shows a stethoscope and blood-pressure machine. File

A photo illustration shows a stethoscope and blood-pressure machine. File | Photo Credit: REUTERS

A global, multi-centric study with over 1.55 lakh participants has shown that risk factors for cardiovascular disease were similar in high, low and middle-income countries, and largely among both men and women, with a few differences only, the results of a recent Lancet publication has shown.

Done as part of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, ongoing in 21 nations, 1,55,724 (58.4 % women 41.6% men) participants were enrolled and followed up between January 5, 2005, and September 13, 2021. In this period, women had 4,280 major cardiovascular disease events while in men, it was 4,911. Compared to men, women presented with a more favourable cardiovascular risk profile, especially at younger ages, the authors Marjan Walli-Attaei et al have said.

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The study also found lipid markers (cholesterol) and depression are more strongly associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease in men than in women, whereas diet is more strongly associated with the same risk in women than in men. The similar associations of other risk factors with cardiovascular disease in women and men emphasise the importance of a similar strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men and women, the authors have concluded. Significantly, 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.

The India collaborators for the study included Eternal Heart Care Centre and Research Institute, Jaipur; Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, Chennai; India SUT Academy of Medical Sciences, Vattapara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala; Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh; and Department of Physiology, St. John’s Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore.

Also Read | ‘Heart diseases on the rise among the young’

V. Mohan of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, one of the authors of the study, says: “This is the first study to compare cardiovascular disease in 21 high, middle and low-income countries, studying all the risk factors with almost an equal distribution of men and women.” Small differences in risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women and men notwithstanding, the study makes it clear that strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease in both women and men should be similar, he added.

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