Ärzte Zeitung online, 16.09.2019
Although women carry a cardiovascular risk factor less frequently than men. If so, their heart reacts more sensitively.
Sensitive: Study results suggest that the female heart muscle is more susceptible to hypertension and elevated blood lipid levels.
© Robert Kneschke / Fotolia  WÜRZBURG. Typical cardiovascular risk factors have different effects on the cardiac function of men and women: According to researchers from the University of Würzburg, women appear to be more susceptible to hypertension and elevated blood lipid levels (PLOS One 2019, online 12 September).
Overall, women have fewer cardiovascular risk factors. However, Caroline Morbach and her team suggest that women's hearts are more sensitive to such risk factors than men's.
What surprised the researchers was that "In general, surprisingly many middle-aged people had at least one cardiovascular risk factor," it says Message from the university. The most dangerous risk factor was obesity in both sexes.
The cardiologists first used echocardiography to establish reference values for systolic and diastolic myocardial deformation, analyzing data from 1818 participants, averaging 54 years without known heart failure.
In the sample for standard-setting, they focused on subjects who had no cardiovascular risk factors and no known heart disease. "Only 542 people were apparently healthy," Morbach is quoted. The others had at least one cardiovascular risk factor.
This realization alone is already an alarm signal. "A lot of people have at least one cardiovascular risk factor, especially in their younger years." In the healthy group, 58 percent were women.
The team then examined the influence of risk factors on cardiac function. "Our results suggest that the female heart muscle is more prone to hypertension and elevated blood lipid levels. Obesity had a gender-neutral and overall the strongest negative impact on the function of the heart muscle, "said Morbach. (bae)
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