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CVD Risk Factors Similar for Men, Women

Diet more strongly linked to CVD risk in women; high non-HDL cholesterol, depression symptoms more strongly linked in men

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Most cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are similar for women and men, according to a study published in the Sept. 10 issue of The Lancet.

Marjan Walli-Attaei, Ph.D., from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues enrolled 155,724 participants aged 35 to 70 years at baseline. Participants came from 21 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries and were followed for about 10 years to examine the prevalence of metabolic, behavioral, and psychosocial risk factors for CVD.

The researchers found that 4,280 and 4,911 major CVD events had occurred in women and in men, respectively, as of the data cutoff (Sept. 13, 2021). Women presented with a more favorable cardiovascular risk profile than men, especially at younger ages. The hazard ratios (HRs) for metabolic risk factors were similar for men and women, except for high non-high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HRs, 1.11 in women and 1.28 in men, for major CVD). For other lipid markers, the pattern was consistent. For symptoms of depression, the HRs were 1.09 and 1.42 in women and men, respectively. Consumption of a diet with a PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological) score of 4 or lower was associated with major CVD more strongly in women than men (1.17 versus 1.07). The total population-attributable fractions associated with behavioral and psychosocial risk factors were greater in men than women (15.7 versus 8.4 percent).

“Women and men have similar CVD risk factors, which emphasizes the importance of a similar strategy for the prevention of CVD in men and women,” Walli-Attaei said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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