The CVA and weight gain in women
Experts say that “The rate of cardiovascular accidents (CVA) in women between 30 and 50 had trebled in the last two decades and they suspect that the parallel increase of obesity has to do with this increase.”
Dr. Ralph Sacco, director of neurology at the University of Miami, Florida, who was not involved in the study stated that “The alarming growth of obesity in middle-aged women is one of the reasons of the increase of CVA (Cardio Vascular Accidents).”
According to a study done in the U.S. between the years 1999 and 2004 was revealed that women aged between 45 to 54 years were twice more likely than men of the same age to suffer a CVA.
The team of Amytis Towfighi, of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, asked if that was the real reason and whether it could provide some explanation.
Scientists analyzed the data on 10.000 men and women between 35 and 54 years old that participated in the survey called the “National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys”.
They have collected data from representative samples of the U.S. population in two periods: from 1988 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2004.
And the researchers didn’t find significant differences in CVA rates between the sexes during the first period: 0.9% for men and 0.6% for women.
But in the second period, the number of women who had had a CVA increased to 1.8% and the rate for men remained unchanged.
According to the researchers “This challenges the traditional notion that says that men have higher rates of CVA than women.”
The team noted that “In trying to decipher the cause of the increase in women, in the second period women were more likely to be obese, have hypertension and high rates of triglycerides.”
And that “Most women in the second period were taking an antihypertensive, which shows progress in efforts to control CVA risk factors.”
Towfighi told that “The obesity epidemic is offsetting a lot of progress in CVA prevention.”
And his advice to prevent the CVA is based on “a healthy lifestyle: exercise, weight control, eating fruit and vegetables, not smoking and also drink alcohol with moderation.”
Sacco, president-elect of the American Heart Association, agreed with this opinion, “it is never too late to start eating balanced and increase physical activity in everyday life.”