Women at greater stroke risk from resistant hyper-tension

Resistant hypertension increases the risk of stroke by 35 per cent in women and 20 per cent in elderly patients, according to new research.

The findings presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona by Dr Kuo-Yang Wang from Taiwan suggest that gender and age should be added to the risk stratification of resistant hypertension to enable more appropriate treatment decisions.

“Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Patients with hypertension that do not respond to conventional drug treatments, called resistant hypertension, are at even higher risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality,” Wang said.

“Little is known about the prognosis of resistant hypertension in the Asian population. Our study compared the risk of all-cause mortality, acute coronary syndrome, and stroke between patients with resistant hypertension and non-resistant hypertension.

“We aimed to discover the impact of resistant hypertension on Taiwanese patients, and to ascertain whether patient characteristics influence the association between resistant hypertension and adverse outcomes,” said Wang.

Patients with hypertension aged 45 years and older were identified from the National Health Insurance Research Database. Medical records of 111,986 patients from 2000 to 2011 were reviewed for this study.

Women at greater stroke risk from resistant hyper-tension

Some 16,402 (14.6 per cent) patients had resistant hypertension. The risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE; a composite of all-cause mortality, acute coronary syndrome, and stroke) in patients with resistant hypertension and non-resistant hypertension was analysed.

The researchers found that 11,856 patients experienced MACE in the average 7.1 year follow up period. Patients with resistant hypertension had a 17 per cent increased risk of MACE compared to those with non-resistant hypertension.

When the researchers analysed the risk of different types of cardiovascular events separately they found that compared to patients with non-resistant hypertension, patients with resistant hypertension had a 17 per cent increased risk of stroke and a 34 per cent increased risk of ischaemic stroke but no increased risk of all-cause mortality or acute coronary syndrome.

“Our study shows that patients with resistant hypertension have higher risks for cardiovascular events than those with non-resistant hypertension. The elevated risks mainly contribute to increasing stroke events, especially ischaemic stroke,” Wang said.

Subgroup analysis showed that resistant hypertension increased the risks of stroke in females by 35 per cent and in elderly patients by 20 per cent. However, no significant influence was noted in young or male patients

Source: Business line

Risky situations fuel anxiety among women

Risky situations in any setting increases anxiety among women, leading them to perform worse under stressed circumstances, finds a new study. Increased anxiety in risky settings is problematic for women because it may depress their ability to achieve.

Risky situations fuel anxiety among women

“Women have worse task performance than men in risky situations, even when they have the same ability in a non-risky setting,” said Susan. R. Fisk, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Stanford University.

In her study, Fisk relied on three experiments. The first experiment was conducted online among US adults aged 18 to 81 to determine whether risky workplace situations increased the anxiety of women and men.

After participants finished thinking and writing about their scenario, they took an anxiety test. Fisk found that when scenarios were framed in a risky way, women were more anxious than when the scenarios were framed in a non-risky way.

Women who received risky scenarios scored 13.6 percent higher on the anxiety test than those who received non-risky scenarios. In the experiment that used the verbal SAT questions, participants were given 20 questions to complete and were told that they could bet money on each answer, making the situation risky.

Women answered about 11 percent fewer questions than men in this risky situation involving betting. A similar effect was seen when using grades data from an undergraduate engineering course.

“People frequently encounter high-risk, high-reward situations in workplaces, and if women avoid these situations or perform more poorly in them because they are more anxious, they will reap fewer rewards than men,” Fisk said.

Furthermore, the research suggests that failure in a risky situation is more costly to women as it may reinforce or create self-doubt about their own competence.

Women’s anxiety and poorer performance in risky situations “may be an unexplored contributor to the dearth of women in positions of leadership and power, as success in these kinds of circumstances is often a precursor to career advancement and promotion”, researchers concluded.

Source: business standard

Women Face Delays in Heart Attack Care: Study

Among young and middle-aged adults, men tend to receive faster hospital care than women for heart attacks and chest pains, a new study finds.

Anxiety appeared to be a key factor — women who appeared anxious upon admittance to the hospital tended to have delays in crucial care, the study authors found.

“Patients with anxiety who present to the emergency department with noncardiac chest pain tend to be women, and the prevalence of [heart attack or chest pains] is lower among young women than among young men,” the Canadian researchers said. “These findings suggest that [emergency-room staff] might initially dismiss a cardiac event among young women with anxiety.”

One heart expert wasn’t surprised by the findings.

“It has been shown in multiple trials that there are gender differences in the treatment of heart disease between men and women entering a hospital,” said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“In younger adults, ages 18 to 55, this reality has also shown to be true,” she said. “When women enter a hospital, it is critical that this bias is eradicated.”

In the study, researchers looked at more than 1,100 adults aged 55 or younger treated for heart attack or chest pains — also called angina — at 24 hospitals in Canada, one in the United States and one in Switzerland. The median ages of the patients were 50 for women and 49 for men.

After arriving at the hospital, men underwent electrocardiograms (ECGs) within 15 minutes and clot-dissolving therapy within 21 minutes, compared with 28 minutes and 36 minutes, respectively, for women, the researchers said in the March 17 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“Anxiety was associated with failure to meet the 10-minute benchmark for ECG in women but not in men,” said the researchers, led by Dr. Louise Pilote, a professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal.

Digging deeper, the researchers found that patients with multiple heart attack risk factors and those with heart attack symptoms that were considered outside the norm also faced delays in care.

Steinbaum pointed out the incongruity of some of these findings.

“When analyzed, the women patients were sicker and were more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease,” she said. “With these multiple risk factors for heart disease, the likelihood of symptoms being heart-related are higher — yet they were not as expeditiously treated for a heart attack.”

“This delay in treatment is critical, especially in the setting of a heart attack, as death rates in patients who have multiple health problems is higher,” Steinbaum said.

Another heart specialist agreed.

“Since women often present with nontypical symptoms when having a heart attack, it is very important that physicians look at younger women, too, to make sure the symptoms they are having do not represent a developing heart attack,” said Dr. Lawrence Phillips, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

“One of the most important take-home points from this study is the need to have an electrocardiogram early,” Phillips said. “An ECG is able to, in many cases, diagnose a heart attack as it occurs. By improving the rapidity of this test, we can start needed therapy earlier and, in doing so, save lives.”

Source: web md

Health and Happiness: Men beat Women

A new survey has found that men are more healthier as well as happier about their appearance than women who are more concerned about their looks, making them less happy.

Health and Happiness, a nationwide study of 2,000 men and women revealed that men reported a higher rate of happiness when it came to their weight, shape, appearance, and the way they are perceived by others.

However, the survey found women to be more self-conscious and slightly less satisfied with their happiness levels at around 49 percent.

It also said that women are much more likely to try dieting than men.

On stress levels, 60 percent of women felt anxious once a week or more while almost 60 percent of male respondents said they only felt stressed once a month.

Men rarely feel depressed as over 70 percent of them claim they rarely felt down or had mood swings, whereas half of women admitted to feeling low or unhappy at least once a month, if not more.

When it comes to wellness, men are again leading as almost half of them said they rarely got headaches compared to 64 percent of women who said they experienced them at least once a month or more.

Also, 70 percent of men said bloating and poor digestion would only occur once a month or less, while it was a daily or weekly problem for half of women.

Patrick Holford, leading nutrition expert and who conducted the research said: “The general perception is that women are more health conscious, but what this survey shows is that women do actually have more health issues to deal with, especially relating to digestion, mood, anxiety and sleep.”

“The results also show that respondents, regardless of their gender, considered the absence of disease to be an indicator of good health. But being healthy means more than that – it’s abundance of well-being indicated by good energy levels, a stable mood and a sharp mind, all of which achieve optimum health,” added Holford.

Source: Zee news

Women should drink plenty of water in winter to keep cystitis at bay

Experts have warned that taking lesser amount of water during winters can give rise to major health problems such as cystitis or urinary tract infection, especially in women.

“Women are prone to cystitis because of their shorter urinary tract as compared to men. Women of all ages can acquire such infections but it is more with women who have just been married and women approaching menopause,” Malvika Sabharwal, head of department of gynaecologist and obstetrician, Nova Speciality Hospitals, was quoted as saying to IANS.

With women having higher risk of cystitis (eight times) than men, doctors recommend drinking at least 12 glasses of water a day to help flush out the infection and dilute the urine.

Up to 15 percent of women have cystitis each year and half of them have had cystitis at least once in their life.

“Women suffering from tuberculosis, diabetes mellitus, those who are pregnant and those who are sexually active are more vulnerable to cystitis,” added Sabharwal.

Doctors also stress that pregnant women should take special care not to keep their bladder empty.

“Pregnant women should try not to drink too much caffeine or acidic drinks such as orange juice as these can irritate the bladder. They should never keep their bladder empty as it can create an environment for bacteria to multiply,” Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynaecologist and obstetrician at Nurture Clinic, told IANS.

“Burning sensation while urinating, frequent need to urinate but passing only small amounts or no urine, having pain in the lower back, dark smelly urine and even fever are the symptoms of cystitis,” adds Dhawan.

Blood can also pass along with urine but that can be detected only when the urine is tested.

“So to detect the severity of the infection, a simple microscopic culture of the urine has to be done,” Amita Shah, consultant gyanecologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, told IANS.

However, doctors also advice microscopic urine examination once every three to six months.

“The treatment for cystitis includes addressing each episode promptly with a short course of antibiotics and sometimes, a regular dose of antibiotics for the long-term. However, if untreated, the infection can go from the bladder to the kidney,” added Shah.

To treat cystitis, doctors also advise daily doses of cranberry juices.

As preventive measures, doctors stress on maintaining hygiene.

“Self-hygiene is important and more important is that the washroom should also be cleaned and sanitised,” added Shah.

Source: News track India

Women lose more work days than men due to illness: Study

Women have a slightly lower chance of falling sick compared to men, but they lose more days at work from being ill, a new study on Indian healthcare system by Global Development Network says.

 According to the study, women work fewer days in a year and as a result, lose almost 15 per cent of their work days to illness, while men lose only six per cent.

“Being ill, therefore, has a greater impact on a woman’s income than that of a man. On the other hand, women’s health expenditures tend to increase more compared to men,” the GDN Working Paper ‘Managing Healthcare Provision and Health Outcomes through Local Governance’ says.

The paper reveals significant positive impact of local governance and empowerment of women, and complex and sometimes surprising similarities in illness and treatment impact on men and women.

“Sickness is significantly reduced through improved access to drinking water, clean surroundings and awareness about health campaigns. These factors reduce the use of public and private healthcare, as well as private health expenditures,” it says.

GDN is a New Delhi-based public international organisation that builds research capacity in development globally.

The study says that a family’s inherited wealth reduces the incidence of illness almost equally for both men and women and reduces private health expenditures slightly more for women than for men.

“This is suggestive of some discrimination within families with regard to healthcare access,” says the study.

Individual empowerment as a result of inheritance of land by a woman has an overall positive impact on her health and use of healthcare, it says.

While in terms of access to health facilities, women are not at a disadvantage, they benefit significantly in terms of health from individual empowerment through land inheritance, it says.

The study also finds significant positive impact on both men and women due to political empowerment of women as a result of the reservation of the Pradhan’s (chief councilor) position for women.

Source: Business Standard

Education helps women from poor places beat obesity

A new study has suggested that educational status could help protect women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas fight obesity.

The new report’ authors said that income and education are frequently used as markers for studying health inequalities, although they are ‘conceptually distinct.’

They said that it’s possible that education is a marker of an individual’s access to health information, capacity to assimilate health-related messages, and ability to retain knowledge-related assets, like nutrition knowledge.

Lead author Lauren K. Williams, Ph.D., formerly of the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, said that education is particularly important for women with low incomes who live in deprived areas.

She said that the research team mailed surveys to a large random sample of more than 4,000 women, ages 18 to 45, living in low-income towns and suburbs in Victoria. Women reported height, weight, education and personal income.

The authors said that women of amplified disadvantage, those living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods with both low education and personal income, may be at higher risk for high BMI.


Source: Zee news