High calorie meal for dinner may up heart disease, diabetes risk

Leslie Hanson
November 10, 2018

However, a new analysis of the medical records of almost half a million middle-aged people found that, per person, smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes produced a higher chance of heart attack in women compared to men.

Deaths from heart attacks are lower among women than man at younger ages, according to the study, and previous research showed that women experience their first heart attack nine years later than men, on average.

The researchers based their findings on a review of data collected as part of the UK Biobank, a long-term health study of more than 500,000 people.

The researchers from Oxford University said that women may be more susceptible to heart attack if they smoked, had high blood pressure or diabetes because of the way the female body stores fat.

Women who smoked were at a 246 percent more risk of getting a heart attack while men who smoked were at a 123 percent greater risk of getting a heart attack.

Eating a meal rich in calories for dinner can increase the risk of diabetes as well as lead to poorer cardiovascular health, researchers have warned.

High blood pressure was associated with a more than 80% higher relative risk in women than in men, while Type I diabetes was associated with an nearly three times higher relative risk, and Type II diabetes a 47% higher relative risk in women than in men.

"It is also true that women are less likely to get similar screen and prevention interventions than men", he said. But the findings suggest this difference decreases if woman lead unhealthy lifestyles.

"Regardless of your sex, risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes increase the risk of a heart attack". This may affect their hearts worse than male hearts, they explain.

The authors they believe their study is the first to analyse both absolute and relative differences in heart attack risk between the sexes across a range of risk factors in a general population. "However, several major risk factors increase the risk in women more than they increase the risk in men, so women with these factors experience a relative disadvantage", said lead author Dr Elizabeth Millett, an epidemiologist at the George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford.

But the study says women often don't realise they are at risk of heart disease and they may also be on the receiving end of poorer care and treatment from doctors.

In the United Kingdom, women with diabetes are 15% less likely than men with diabetes to receive all recommended care processes, and may be less likely to achieve target values when treated for cardiovascular risk factors.

Women need to be treated as per protocol for diabetes and hypertension similar to men, say the researchers.

"They're focused mainly on breast cancer".

In an accompanying editorial with the article, experts have said that men may be more at risk of heart attacks but women are more likely to die from heart attacks than men in UK. Professor Metin Avkiran, of the British Heart Foundation in a statement said, "This is an important reminder that heart disease does not discriminate, so we must shift perceptions that it only affects men".

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