Risk Factors Lower Age of Heart Attack Onset in Women
Reported November 07, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America, even though their average age of onset is typically a full decade later than men. New research shows certain risk factors may cause women to experience ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attacks sooner, eliminating the protective gender benefits women experience.
A new study presented at the American Heart Association conference in Orlando, Fla., reveals certain risk factors may cause women to present with STEMI at a younger age. Risk factors evaluated included diabetes, hypercholesterol, hypertension, family history and smoking.
“The two risk factors that stand out are family history, which caused women to present STEMI seven years earlier than women with no family history, and smoking which caused women to present 9 years earlier than women who did not smoke,” William Herzog, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, M.D., said.
Average age of presentation in women who smoked was 62, compared with an average age of presentation in non-smoking women of 71. Although smoking was the strongest predictive risk factor or early presentation STEMI in women, speeding presentation up by 9 years, it only sped presentation for men up by four years. “This suggests women are more susceptible to the risks of cigarette smoking,” Dr. Herzog said.
According to Dr. Herzog, the risk of smoking is associated with current smoking habits. “If you stop smoking you can eliminate much of this risk,” Dr. Herzog said.
SOURCE: Presentation by William Herzog, M.D. at the American Heart Association Scientific Session, Nov. 4-7, 2007, in Orlando, Fla.