Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heart disease in women worse than previously thought

22.03.2006


Angina, a common form of heart disease, is more dangerous for women than was previously thought, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The collaborative study, led by UCL (University College London) and funded by the British Heart Foundation, found that angina in women is as common as it is in men, in contrast to heart attacks (myocardial infarction) which have a higher rate in men. The findings suggest that the medical profession should pay more attention to thoroughly investigating and diagnosing women suspected of having angina.



UCL Professor Harry Hemingway and colleagues studied over 100,000 patients aged 45-89 years with angina using electronic health records. They found that each year, two women out of every 100 in the general population developed angina, as the first sign of heart disease. This makes angina much more common than heart attacks (the risks of which are usually measured per 1,000 population).

The study also found that for women, the diagnosis of angina is less frequently confirmed with tests, such as angiograms or treadmill exercise electrocardiograms. In the patients in the study, drug treatment aimed at relieving angina (nitrates) was prescribed solely on the basis of symptom history.


In the study, angina in women was also associated with increased death rates, where women diagnosed without the confirmatory test had significantly higher death rates from heart disease. Such women have often been dismissed as having a ‘soft’ subjective complaint, without real pathological changes in the heart. The study suggests that this attitude is incorrect.

Among women with angina and diabetes, the annual risk of a heart attack was particularly high and similar to the risk in men (about one in 10).

Professor Hemingway, from the UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, says: “For women, angina is a more significant public health problem than many doctors, or indeed the general public, realise. Women develop angina at a similarly high rate as men. And the angina which women experience is not benign in terms of death rates. We need to understand why women are relatively protected from heart attack but not from angina, and ensure fair access to investigation and treatment services.

“Angina has been a Cinderella in heart disease research because of the difficulties in establishing which patients have angina – many people with symptoms are not tested – and because most patients are not hospitalised. The opposite is true for heart attacks, where nearly all patients are tested to confirm the diagnosis and are admitted as an emergency into hospital.”

Angina is a symptom of chest pain or discomfort which is brought on by exercise (or cold or emotional stress) and relieved by rest. These symptoms are due to the supply of oxygen to the heart muscle (myocardium) being insufficient to meet demand (so called myocardial ischaemia). Narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels which supply oxygen to the heart muscle causes angina. Atherosclerosis is the cause of the narrowing and hardening of the coronary (heart) arteries.

Angina is more likely to occur in people who have one or more of the following risk factors: older age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, family history.

Angina can be prevented by lifestyle changes (stopping smoking, increasing exercise) and by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. The symptoms of angina can be relieved with medication (such as nitrates or beta-blockers) and by undergoing a coronary revascularisation procedure. The risk of having a heart attack after having experienced angina can be reduced by taking ‘secondary prevention’ medications such as aspirin and lipid lowering drugs. There is no cure for the underlying disease process of atherosclerosis.

Jenny Gimpel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>