Aventura Heart Center: Preventing cardiovascular events in women

Dr. Robert Rasken and Dr. David Korn, Aventura Heart Center

A recent study has shown that by reducing blood pressure towards normal levels prevents more cardiovascular events in women than in men.

“The study is the result of compiling a number of individual studies to examine the sex-specific differences in the association between outcome and blood pressure,” says Dr. David Korn, Aventura Heart Center. “Even though the absolute risk of events is lower in women than in men, this study shows that there is great potential for prevention by lowering blood pressure in women.”

“Lowering blood pressure by 15 mm prevents a larger number of events in women than in men,” adds Dr. Korn. “The study reviews a number of studies from Europe, Latin America and Asia.”

Information was obtained on medical history, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, cholesterol and glucose levels. Studies showed prevention of all cause mortality events was higher for women than in men. The results were applicable to all age groups and the study included people aged 20 to 80 years, the findings were consistent across all geographic areas.

“The link between high intake of fruit and vegetables and reduced risk of heart disease was given more credibility by the latest results from a large scale study in Europe investigating cancer and nutrition,” says Dr. Robert Rasken. “In this study, people who ate at least eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who consumed fewer than three portions a day. This applied to both men and women.”

The authors of the study note that the various antioxidant micronutrients present in fruits and vegetables reduce hardening of the arteries caused by oxidation damage; they also add that consuming antioxidant supplements is not the same as increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. This reduction of 22% is very large; but there needs to be a shift in dietary patterns to achieve this goal.

“One of the most important problems in confronting the issues in heart health in women is in diagnosing heart attack in women because of the difference in presentation of symptoms of heart attack,” adds Dr. Rasken.

“Chest pain is the most common symptom in men,” he says. “Many women do not experience chest pain during a heart attack and are more likely to experience the atypical symptoms which include nausea, vomiting, weakness and fatigue.”

Dr. David Korn and Dr. Robert Rasken are the Directors of Aventura Heart Center located at 2845 Aventura Blvd., Suite 249 in the Mount Sinai Aventura Building. The Center offers the whole spectrum of taking care of women and their hearts including one of the only nationally accredited nuclear and echocardiographic labs in the Aventura and Greater Miami area. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 305-932-6061.

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