Diabetes significantly increases mortality from myocardial infarction in women compared to men. The risk of fatal ischemic heart disease in women with diabetes is as much as 50 percent higher than in men. In women, there is a more significant inflammatory factor, more diffuse atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, more significant small blood vessel disease and often less aggressive diabetes therapy.
Even borderline or moderate hypertension causes more cardiovascular complications in women than in men.
Smoking is especially harmful to younger women because it increases the risk of ischemic heart disease by 60 percent compared to men. A combination of factors such as advanced atherosclerosis and a predisposition to smoking-induced vascular thrombosis is responsible for six to eight times the risk of myocardial infarction in women who are smokers compared to non-smokers.
Lipid status in women is influenced by hormonal status and changes throughout life. Younger women have lower values of LDL, bad cholesterol and higher values of HDL, good cholesterol compared to men of the same age. With age, the level of bad cholesterol in women increases, and the level of good cholesterol decreases, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.
The presence of estrogen in younger women is a factor of protection against cardiovascular diseases. Women with early menopause, before the age of 40, have a two-year shorter life expectancy compared to women with normal or late menopause. Many studies have examined the effect of postmenopausal hormone therapy as a preventive measure against cardiovascular disease, but have not confirmed this hypothesis. They even showed an increased cardiovascular risk, especially in the first year after starting the therapy.
Various studies have confirmed the thesis that obese women have a seven times higher risk of heart disease than overweight men. Also, the combination of obesity and diabetes is especially risky in women.
Physical inactivity is more common in women than in men. And since there is a clear link between physical activity and coronary heart disease in women, it is also clear that they are more vulnerable.
Stress and Emotions
Stress, negative emotions, as well as states of anxiety and depression are more associated with the risk of heart disease in women than in men. The combination of stress at work and stress in the family is associated with a more significant occurrence of heart disease in women.