In the first global report on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, researchers have called for urgent action to improve care and prevention, fill knowledge gaps, and increase awareness to address the world’s leading cause of death among women.
The report of the Commission, led exclusively by women, has been published in The Lancet and was presented during a plenary session at the 70th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology.
Different risks by sex
The Commission aims to help reduce the global burden of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, which account for 35% of women’s deaths worldwide by 2030 .
In 2019, there were approximately 275 million women worldwide with CVD, with a global age-standardized prevalence estimated at 6,402 cases per 100,000. The leading cause of CVD death worldwide in 2019 was ischemic heart disease (47% of CVD deaths), followed by stroke (36% of CVD deaths).
There are considerable geographic differences in CVD, with the highest age-standardized prevalence in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates, while the countries with the lowest prevalence are Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
Although globally the prevalence of CVD in women has been declining, with an overall decrease of 4.3% since 1990 , some of the world’s most populous nations have experienced an increase in CVD, such as China (10% increase), Indonesia (7%), and India (3%). These increases indicate the need for initiatives to scale up CVD prevention, diagnosis and treatment in women living in densely populated and industrialized regions.
The authors have outlined 10 recommendations to address disparities in diagnosis, treatment and prevention to reduce CVD in women, including educating healthcare providers and patients on early detection to prevent heart disease in women. women; expand heart health programs in densely populated and underdeveloped regions; and prioritize sex-specific research on heart disease in women and intervention strategies.
Risk factors for CVD in women
High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for the loss of years of life due to CVD in women, followed by high body mass index and high LDL cholesterol .
While these well-established risk factors may affect women differently than men, there are sex-specific risk factors , such as premature menopause and pregnancy-related disorders, that need to be recognized and prioritized more broadly as part. treatment and prevention efforts around the world.
However, it must be remembered that men smoke more than women, eat greater amounts of red meat rich in fat, drink more alcohol, take more hard drugs, are exposed to greater amounts of toxic industrial substances, run greater risks in the workplace. At work, they drive faster and recklessly and develop competing, stress-generating personalities more often. And that the two main heart diseases due to their relationship with mortality are acute myocardial infarction and ischemic heart disease are higher in men (approximately double) , as you can see in the following video: