Who Has It Better: The Hearts of Older Women or Men?

Women -- especially those in their baby-boomer years -- have a tougher time with heart disease than men do after they reach age 60, according to a new report. Although men have a higher risk of heart disease earlier on, women have more recently reduced the distance between them and men by a decade, meaning the heart disease risks for both sexes are about the same once they reach 60.

Even worse, once women hit age 70, their risk of heart disease exceeds that of men, according to a population-based study that examined changes in markers related to cardiovascular disease between 1988-2002. Some interesting factoids that should alarm you, regardless of your gender:

  • More women had higher amounts of C-reactive protein in their blood than men did.
  • Men showed greater improvement than women in relation to HDL cholesterol, although that probably had more to do with taking a worthless statin drug.
  • The incidence of hypertension improved among men, but not women.

Just because cancer may have displaced heart disease as the number one killer of Americans doesn't mean it isn't a major hurdle to overcome. Fact is, heart disease is a condition that can be treated naturally, safely and effectively by making a number of simple lifestyle changes.

Journal of Women's Health, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 2006: 734-746

EurekAlert September 8, 2006

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