Irregular Heartbeat More Dangerous for Women
An irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation, may create a higher risk of stroke for women than men, according to research published in The BMJ (British Medical Journal.)
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is associated with a higher risk of stroke and death generally -- with an estimated 33.5 million people affected around the world, and an age-adjusted mortality rate of 1.7 per 100,000 people. And that number is increasing, in both developed and developing countries.
In a meta-analysis of 30 studies published between January 1966 and March 2015, researchers analyzed data for over 4 million participants. All the studies had a minimum of 50 participants with AFib and 50 without.
AFib was found to be linked to a 12 percent higher relative risk of mortality in women and a much stronger risk of stroke, cardiovascular mortality, cardiac events and heart failure. The reason for the gender differences is not known.
The results support the development of a specific risk score for AFib in women and more aggressive treatment for women, as recently recommended by the American Heart Association.
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