Women Who Smoke Have Heart Attacks 14 Years Earlier..

September 3, 2008 - At the European Society of Cardiology Meeting in Munich, Germany (August 30, 2008 - September 3, 2008)it was reported that women who smoke have heart attacks nearly 14 years earlier then those who don't.

Paper: Sex-based differences in effect of smoking: first acute myocardial infarction occurs more prematurely in women than in men, M. Grundtvig1, T.P. Hagen2, A. Reikvam2, 1Lillehammer - Norway, 2University of Oslo - Oslo - Norway, European Heart Journal ( 2008 ) 29 ( Abstract Supplement ), 699. Abstract.

Dr. Morten Grundtvig and colleagues from the Innlander Hospital Trust in Norway based their study on data from 1,784 patients admitted for a first heart attack. Their study found that the men, on average, had their first heart attack at age 72 if they didn't smoke, and at 64 if they did. Women in the study had their first heart attack at age 81 if they didn't smoke, and at age 66 if they did. Researchers adjusted for other heart risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

Doctors suspect that female hormones protect women against heart disease. Estrogen is thought to raise the levels of good cholesterol and help blood-vessel walls relax.
"Smoking might erase the natural advantage that women have," said Dr. Robert Harrington, a Professor of Medicine at Duke University and a spokesman for the American College of Cardiology. "This is not a minor difference," said Dr. Silvia Priori, a cardiologist at the Scientific Institute in Pavia, Italy who was not connected to the study. "Women need to realize they are losing much more than men when they smoke," she said.

Reference: Smoking riskier to women's hearts than men's by MARIA CHENG, Associated Press, 9/2/2008.

Women heart attack risk factors and symptoms.