by Angela Reed-Fox
A UK based Biobank study found that although men have a greater overall risk of heart attack than women, factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking closed the gap by increasing women's cardiovascular risk more than it did for men.
The study looked at the records of 472,000 men and women aged 40-69 and found that modifiable factors increased the cardiovascular risk far more for women than men (although the overall risk was still greater for men). High blood pressure increased the risk for women to about 2.5 times that of a woman with normal blood pressure.
Obesity increased the risk of heart attack for both men and women - there was no significant difference in risk between men and women. Smoking increased the cardiovasular risk for women by about 3.5 times that of a non-smoking woman of the same age whereas a male smoker had just over 2 times the risk of heart attack compared with a non-smoking man of the same age.
Type 2 diabetes almost doubled the cardiovascular risk for women, but increased it by a third for men.
What does this mean? This is updated evidence that managing a healthy diet and lifestyle is key in reducing our risk of disease such as cardiovascular disease (which includes strokes, heart attacks, angina).
Want to read the study for yourself? Go here.
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