Nav: Home

Managing young women at high risk of heart disease

February 11, 2019

Deaths from heart disease have decreased in recent decades, but these decreases have not occurred in women younger than 50. A new review in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) provides guidance for physicians to identify and manage premenopausal women at high risk of heart disease.

"Addressing cardiovascular health in women younger than 50 years of age requires thinking 'outside the box' of traditional risk factors in primary prevention," says cardiologist Dr. Beth Abramson, St. Michael's Hospital, and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, with coauthors.

The review is based on the latest, high-quality evidence published from 2008 to 2018.

Some highlights:
  • Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and smoking are stronger risk factors in younger women.
  • Younger women with ovarian dysfunction may be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Early menopause because of surgical or chemical interventions may be a risk factor.
  • Pregnancy complications, such as gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, are linked to higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • There are limited and conflicting data on whether infertility treatments are a risk factor; further research is needed.
"A challenge in risk assessment is addressing the subpopulation at elevated risk within a lower-risk group," write the authors. "Current risk assessment tools are largely based on age and traditional risk factors and tend to underestimate risk in certain groups of younger women who are at higher risk."

The authors suggest that premenopausal women with these risk factors should be screened early for cardiovascular disease with close follow up and advice on lifestyle modifications where appropriate. Physicians should place more emphasis on sex-specific risk factors in younger women such as preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications, infertility and reproductive technologies.

Identifying higher risk premenopausal women, who have traditionally been considered low risk for future events, is an important step in improving the cardiovascular health of young women. Starting the conversation with these women at risk is the first step in prevention.
-end-
"Identifying and managing younger women at high risk of cardiovascular disease" is published February 11, 2019.

Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Heart Disease Articles:

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.
Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.
Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.
Women once considered low risk for heart disease show evidence of previous heart attack scars
Women who complain about chest pain often are reassured by their doctors that there is no reason to worry because their angiograms show that the women don't have blockages in the major heart arteries, a primary cause of heart attacks in men.
Where you live could determine risk of heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease
People living in parts of Ontario with better access to preventive health care had lower rates of cardiac events compared to residents of regions with less access, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Older adults with heart disease can become more independent and heart healthy with physical activity
Improving physical function among older adults with heart disease helps heart health and even the oldest have a better quality of life and greater independence.
Dietary factors associated with substantial proportion of deaths from heart disease, stroke, and disease
Nearly half of all deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in the US in 2012 were associated with suboptimal consumption of certain dietary factors, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.
Certain heart fat associated with higher risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women
For the first time, researchers have pinpointed a type of heart fat, linked it to a risk factor for heart disease and shown that menopausal status and estrogen levels are critical modifying factors of its associated risk in women.
Maternal chronic disease linked to higher rates of congenital heart disease in babies
Pregnant women with congenital heart defects or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with severe congenital heart disease and should be monitored closely in the prenatal period, according to a study published in CMAJ.
More Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.