Women are less likely to respond positively to cardiovascular disease (CV) drug-treatments than men, according to a new study.
Researchers from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center have revealed that women are less likely to respond favourably from two common high-blood-pressure-lowering drugs, losartan and atenolol, than men.
"Women have a greater chance of dying of their first heart attack and from stroke, and they tend to have more cardiovascular problems later in life compared with men," said the study's lead author, Dr. Peter M. Okin, a noted cardiologist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and professor of medicine in the Greenberg Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
"Certain tell-tale indicators of high-blood pressure, like LVH regression, clearly show that men and women do not respond the same to hypertension drugs," he added.
LVH or left-ventricular hypertrophy is a condition of thickening and enlargement of muscle of the left ventricle of the heart, which is also the marker for future heart disease.
During the five-year study, the researchers studied electrocardiograms of 9,193 subjects enrolled in the Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension (LIFE) Study.
Men and women demonstrated similar outcomes in lowering their blood pressure while on either losartan- or atenolol-based treatment.
However, the degree in reduction in LVH was significantly greater in men than women enrolled.
"LVH is a very serious condition. When the heart's muscle is thicker than it should be, the heart has to work harder," said Dr. Okin. Symptoms of LVH include shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, irregular heartbeat and fainting.
"But, there may not be signs or symptoms of LVH for many years, or never at all, making screening with electrocardiography essential," he added.
The study is published in Hypertension, the journal of the American Heart Association.