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70pc ME female heart attack victims 'hypertensive'

Dubai, January 11, 2010

Seventy per cent of female heart attack victims in the region suffer from hypertension, compared to 43 per cent of male patients, according to a regional study.

The findings come from a drill-down of research looking at the death-rate of 8,166 males and females hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) – which includes heart attack and unstable angina – in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Yemen, which all fed data into the project known as the Gulf Registry for Acute Coronary Events (Gulf Race).

As part of the study it was revealed that on average women were nine years older than men when they suffered from ACS, and were more likely to have hypertension (70 per cent vs 43 per cent), diabetes (55 per cent vs 36 per cent), high cholesterol (44 per cent vs 28 per cent), and to be obese than their male counterparts.

The study also found that female patients who had suffered a certain type of heart attack were 1.75 times more likely to die while in hospital than males, in part because cardiovascular drugs and post-ACS interventions were underused in the women’s group – findings that have been previously documented in eight similar studies across the world.

“The study confirms that hypertension is a major risk factor for ACS among women in the Gulf, alongside diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity. This underscores the importance of regular blood pressure checks for women, especially as they get older, and making sure females are prescribed the correct cardiovascular medications to treat hypertension,” said Dr Wael Mahmeed, president of the Emirates Cardiac Society and one of the principal investigators of Gulf Race.

“Higher in-hospital death rates among women with ACS compared to men is also very worrying. It shows that greater emphasis must be put on diagnosing ACS in women, and may indicate a greater need for training among medical personnel in spotting the signs and symptoms of the disease in women which are different to those in men. Speedy diagnosis is essential for ACS treatments to be effective,” he added.

The research team made up of members of the Gulf Heart Association concluded: “The gender disparity is not a regional but a global issue that needs real effort and international awareness. Physician and public awareness may be important for prompt diagnosis and unbiased treatment.”

In a bid to improve awareness about the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension among GPs and non-specialists, Novartis is hosting a regional speaker tour by Professor Bjorn Dahlof, a world renowned specialist in cardiovascular medicine and hypertension.

Professor Dahlof, who is the associate professor of Medicine at Goteborg University in Sweden, will be speaking at five events throughout January, in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Kuwait, and Qatar. A total of 450 medical professionals are expected to attend.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Gulf | Health | hypertension | medical | Heart attacks |

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