-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women with heart failure
are less likely to die than men with the condition, according to
new research from Europe.
An analysis of data from 31 studies involving more than 40,000
heart failure patients found that 25.3 percent of female patients
and 25.7 percent of male patients died over three years of
follow-up. The death rate was 135 deaths per 1,000 patient years in
women and 137 per 1,000 patient years in men.
However, when the researchers adjusted for age, they found that
male patients had a 31 percent higher risk of death than female
patients, and that being male was an independent risk factor for
Compared to men, women with heart failure tend to be older, are
more likely to have a history of hypertension and diabetes, and are
less likely to have heart failure that is caused by reduced blood
supply to the heart, the researchers said.
The study also found that heart failure patients whose left
ventricular ejection fraction is not reduced have a lower death
risk than those with reduced ejection fraction. Reduced ejection
fraction is more common in male heart failure patients than in
Left ventricular ejection fraction is a measurement used to
assess the function of the left ventricle, which pumps blood into
the body's circulatory system.
Overall, female heart failure patients were prescribed fewer
recommended treatments for heart failure than men -- including
angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or
angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and beta blockers.
The findings were published March 8 in the European Society of
European Journal of Heart Failure.
"This study has clearly demonstrated that survival is better for women with heart failure than for men, irrespective of ejection fraction, age or other variables," first author Dr. Manuel Martinez-Selles from the Gregorio Maranon University Hospital in Madrid, Spain, said in a journal news release.
There are several possible explanations why women may fare
better than men, he added, including that "the female heart appears
to respond to injury differently from the male heart."
Women show less "ventricular remodeling," or structural changes
to the size, shape and function of the heart; greater preservation
of right ventricular function; and seem to be more protected from
ventricular arrhythmias and cell death.
"Some of these advantages could be related to pregnancy and to sex-specific differences in gene expression," Martinez-Selles said.
The American Heart Association has more about
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.