A life course approach to coronary heart disease and stroke

Debbie A. Lawlor, Shah Ebrahim and George Davey Smith

in A Life Course Approach to Women's Health

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780192632890
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723629 | DOI:

Series: Life Course Approach to Adult Health

A life course approach to coronary heart disease and stroke

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This chapter shows that the main classical cardiovascular risk factors have the same effects in women as they do in men and preventive treatments that lower risk factors—antihypertensive drugs, aspirin, and cholesterol lowering drugs—work equally well in both sexes. Diabetes and the insulin resistance syndrome may confer greater risk to women than men. Women may be protected from coronary heart disease by a number of interacting factors including a more favourable fat distribution, a less adverse response to dietary saturated fats, and endogenous oestrogens. Low birthweight, poor infant nutrition, and accelerated postnatal growth are all associated with CHD and stroke risk in both women and men.

Keywords: risk factors; cardiovascular disease; social factors; sex differences; low birthweight; infant nutrition; postnatal growth

Chapter.  15175 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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