Risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women: Assessment and management

K. Schenck-Gustafsson
1996 European Heart Journal  
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most important cause of death and disability among older women. A 50-year-old woman has a 46% risk of having CHD and a 31% risk of dying from it. Female CHD patients have a distinct clinical presentation, which includes more severe thromboembolic disease without coronary arteriosclerosis. Syndrome X also appears to be more prevalent in women. Oestrogen deficiency may be a trigger for this syndrome. The magnitude of the effect of various risk factors may also
more » ... iffer between women and men. In addition, there are risk factors unique to women. Lipid profiles differ between men and women. After menopause, the lipid profile changes unfavourably, with increasing levels of LDL cholesterol and decreasing levels of HDL cholesterol. Cigarette smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity are all recognised risk factors for CHD in women. It is important to recognise that risk factors for CHD differ between men and women. Advising women to quit cigarette smoking, avoid obesity, increase physical activity, and prevent and treat hypertension and hyperlipidaemia will result in a reduction in CHD risk. Additional studies are needed to further contribute to our understanding of the complex risk factors underlying the development of CHD in women. (Eur Heart J 1996; 17 (Suppl D): 2-8)
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/17.suppl_d.2 pmid:8869875 fatcat:l3z6geybabbj7b5voabzoolsfe