Women develop heart problems 10 years later than men, thanks to their hormones

The heart disease catches up with women owing to the presence of 'fat-absorbing' XX hormones.

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Hormones like estrogen and progesterone protect the heart.
LONDON: Although women develop coronary artery disease (CAD) almost 10 years later than men as scientists have attributed this decade-long delay to the protective effects of sex hormones, the heart disease finally catches up with women owing to the presence of "fat-absorbing" XX hormones.

There is a lot of evidence that hormones like estrogen and progesterone protect the heart, but scientists had little data on the influence of the genetic component - the X chromosome - on the heart.

New research at the University of Kentucky has confirmed that the presence of XX sex chromosomes increases the amount of fat circulating in the blood, which leads to narrowing of the arteries and ultimately a higher risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease.


The team looked at lipids absorbed from the diet and made in the liver.

"We looked at how our X sex chromosomes were influencing the levels of lipids in the blood and in the arteries," said Lisa Cassis, a researcher in the UK College of Medicine, in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

Cut Down On Salt, Drink Fluids: Simple Diet Tips To Avoid Chronic Heart Failure
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Cardiac or heart failure is a clinical condition in which the heart loses the ability to eject blood to meet the requirements of the tissues of the body. Irrespective of the cause, nutritional concerns need to be addressed in this condition in order to prevent morbidity and mortality. Patients with chronic heart failure are at constant risk of losing weight due to the medical condition and also low dietary intake which is due poor appetite, depression or loss of appetite due to consumption of drugs.

Dietary interventions to maintain and restore the nutritional balance are essential part of treatment therapy. These include a suitable change in calorie intake, reduction in sodium and fluid intake, maintenance of potassium and magnesium in the body, and appropriate supplementation with vitamins and minerals.

Here are some simple tips by Dr Ritika Samaddar, Chief Nutritionist at Max Hospital, Saket.

Cardiac or heart failure is a clinical condition in which the heart loses the ability to eject blood to meet the requirements of the tissues of the body. Irrespective of the cause, nutritional concer..
Read More

Obese patients are encouraged to lose weight to minimize cardiac workload. On the other hand, in the malnourished patients with chronic heart failure, the calorie intake has to be increased to match the requirement.

Obese patients are encouraged to lose weight to minimize cardiac workload. On the other hand, in the malnourished patients with chronic heart failure, the calorie intake has to be increased to match ..
Read More

In patients with heart failure, a reduction in salt intake brings about a significant improvement. Mostly, the limit is set at 2-3 gm of salt per day. This requires a control on the intake of sodium rich foods, and restricted use of table salt.

In patients with heart failure, a reduction in salt intake brings about a significant improvement. Mostly, the limit is set at 2-3 gm of salt per day. This requires a control on the intake of sodium ..
Read More

Most diuretics increase the excretion of potassium and magnesium leading to depletion of minerals in the body. A diet high in potassium and magnesium-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables is encouraged and also the use of supplements.

Most diuretics increase the excretion of potassium and magnesium leading to depletion of minerals in the body. A diet high in potassium and magnesium-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables is en..
Read More

In patients with a severe fluid overload, those requiring high doses of diuretic, or those taken to excessive fluid intake, the total daily water and fluid intake should be limited in the range of 500 to 2000 ml daily.

In patients with a severe fluid overload, those requiring high doses of diuretic, or those taken to excessive fluid intake, the total daily water and fluid intake should be limited in the range of 50..
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What they found is that an XX sex chromosome combination promotes efficient use of fat.

Women need fat to bear and feed babies, Cassis explained.

"We're set up, potentially through our XX sex chromosomes, so that we can effectively absorb that lipid from the diet and put it into our fat cells and maybe even make it in the liver."

Cassis's team studied chromosome effects in mice, and for this most recent discovery they were able to zero in on XX chromosomes by removing hormones.

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According to Yasir Al-Siraj, a post-doctoral scholar and the paper's first author, if the levels of circulating lipids transported by the blood are too high, they will start to accumulate in and on the artery wall, leading to plaque buildup.

These plaques harden and narrow the artery, reducing blood flow to the vital organs.
pregnancy fitness1_ThinkstockPhotos
Women need fat to bear and feed babies.

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Everything is fine until women hit menopause and the protective effects of hormones disappear, leaving women with, what Cassis calls, "that XX thrifty, fat-absorbing kind of genotype."

The team is looking at genes that are changed in the liver and in the intestine to find novel targets for drug development. If they can find target genes that influence atherosclerosis, scientists can then explore the effects of existing drugs or develop new ones.

"We don't know if our findings are due to the presence of two X chromosomes or due to the absence of the Y chromosome," said Al-Siraj.

These findings may also drive choice of diet for post-menopausal women.

"For example, if they're very effective fat absorbers, obviously, once they get post-menopausal, they need to be careful about the fat content," added Cassis.

World Heart Day: Exercise, Eat Almonds, & Reduce Stress To Keep Cardiac Problems Away
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Cardiovascular heart diseases cause over a quarter of the total deaths in the country, and affect rural populations and young adults the most, according to a study published by The Lancet Global Health. The study also shows that younger adults, especially those born after 1970, have the highest death rate due to the narrowing of the heart’s arteries.

Nutritionists point out that the risk of cardiovascular diseases can be reduced through lifestyle changes. Some of them are as follows:

(Text: Divya Shekhar)
Cardiovascular heart diseases cause over a quarter of the total deaths in the country, and affect rural populations and young adults the most, according to a study published by The Lancet Global Heal..
Read More
Research indicates that almonds, a source of protein and high in dietary fibre, helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and lower blodd sugar impact of carbohydrate foods.

Nagpur-based nutritionist Meghana Kumare said, “Consuming 43 grams of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds reduces hunger and improves dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated (good) fat intake without increasing body weight.”
Research indicates that almonds, a source of protein and high in dietary fibre, helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and lower blodd sugar impact of carbohydrate foods. Nagpur-based nutr..
Read More
Include exercise as part of your daily routine and keep an active lifestyle. According to nutritionist Madhuri Ruia, “moderate exercise of 30 minutes a day for five days a week is recommended for a healthy heart.”
Include exercise as part of your daily routine and keep an active lifestyle. According to nutritionist Madhuri Ruia, “moderate exercise of 30 minutes a day for five days a week is recommended for a ..
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Experts said that one must consume good fats in proportion and avoid saturated and trans-fat from the diet.

FSSAI’s Eat Right Movement recommends reduction in sugar, salt and oil in the daily diet.

“Reduce your intake of sugar, salt and oil by half to reduce your incidence to heart disease by half,” said Delhi-based nutritionist Ritika Samaddar.
Experts said that one must consume good fats in proportion and avoid saturated and trans-fat from the diet. FSSAI’s Eat Right Movement recommends reduction in sugar, salt and oil in the daily diet. ..
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Bengaluru-based nutritionist Sheela Krishnaswamy said, “Smoking can damage the structure and function of the arteries, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. Carbon monoxide inhaled from cigarette smoke contributes to reduced oxygen levels in the blood. Second-hand tobacco smoke also causes heart disease in non-smokers, which means you could be harming the health of your near ones too.”
Bengaluru-based nutritionist Sheela Krishnaswamy said, “Smoking can damage the structure and function of the arteries, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. Carbon monoxide inhaled from cigarette..
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Spending time with family, meditating, reducing stress levels and exercising regularly leads to reduction in stress levels.
Spending time with family, meditating, reducing stress levels and exercising regularly leads to reduction in stress levels.

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