Lifestyle Womens Corner

Disadvantaged women more prone to heart attack than men: Study

Disadvantaged women more prone to heart attack than men: Study

New Delhi: Women from low socio-economic backgrounds are 25 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack than their male counterparts, according to a new study.

Researchers from the George Institute for Global Health (GIGH), who examined data from 22 million people from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia before reaching the conclusion, said the burden of cardiovascular disease in India has been growing steadily.

“Women from low socio-economic backgrounds are 25 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack than disadvantaged men,” the study said.

The effect of levels of education, income, job type and postcode on the risk of cardiovascular disease were assessed in the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

“It is widely known that people from disadvantaged backgrounds are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke than people with more affluent backgrounds.

“However, our study has shown there is a significant difference between the sexes. Disproportionally more disadvantaged women are suffering from heart disease than their male counterparts, which is a cause for concern,” said Sanne Peters, Research Fellow at GIGH, the UK.

Executive Director of GIGH Vivekanand Jha said the study gives a very interesting insight on the gender comparison data among people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

“It has shown disadvantaged women are more susceptible to mortality due to cardiovascular diseases than disadvantaged men. In India, we need such a study to be conducted and look at gender specific data on cardiovascular diseases and its relation to morbidity and mortality,” Jha said.

Cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death in women worldwide, with an estimated 8.6 million women dying every year.

“The burden of cardiovascular disease in India has been growing steadily over the past few decades. The cardiovascular related mortality among women has grown from around 10 per cent in 1980 to around 25 per cent in 2013 as per the latest data available from the Global Burden of Disease report.

“This is primarily due to the change in the overall lifestyle of Indians in the past couple of decades,” Jha said.

The results demonstrate a need for tailored interventions for women to address the gender gap and deliver the best possible care, he said.