Women smokers have acute MI years earlier

Smoking impairs cardiovascular risk profiles in women so much that they present with acute MI on average nine years earlier, say US researchers.

Research suggests that not only are women more susceptible to the effects of smoking than men, those who do smoke eliminate the male gender bias normally observed in acute MI.

Analysis of a registry of 7,197 patients presenting to hospital with ST-segment elevated MI (STEMI) showed that women normally present with a first STEMI in their late 60s, while men present in their late 50s or early 60s.

Analysis of this cohort divided them according to risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterol, family history and smoking.

Having a family history of MI reduced the average age of presentation by seven years in women and nearly six years in men.

However, smoking reduced the age of STEMI presentation by nine years in women, from 71 to 62.

Lead researcher Dr William Herzog, from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, said: 'If you compare the age of non-smoking men and smoking women you have eliminated the gender gap, suggesting women are more susceptible to the effects of smoking.'

Earlier presentation with STEMI among women was among current smokers only.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

American Heart Association scientific sessions 4-7 November 2007, Orlando, Florida

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