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Gender Differences And Heart Disease

Posted Jul 21 2008 10:07am

Women may respond less favorably than men to cardiovascular disease (CV) drug-treatments for enlarged heart, according to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center physician-scientists.

For the first time, researchers have uncovered that women derive a lesser benefit than men from two common high-blood-pressure-lowering drugs — losartan and atenolol — for the reduction of left-ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). The condition is a thickening and enlargement of muscle of the left ventricle of the heart and a marker for future heart disease. The observations were made despite results showing that blood pressure reduction was similar between genders.

These important findings might explain how this underlying condition puts women at greater risk for heart disease later in life. CV is the leading cause of death in Western countries in both sexes. However, following a period of relative protection, before menopause, a woman’s risk becomes significantly larger.

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