Men who have depression are more at risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) than women, a global study that included people not only from high-income countries but also from low- and middle-income countries has revealed on Friday. The study also showed that diet is more strongly associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease in women than in men.
Interestingly, the study also highlighted that there is a similar association of other risk factors with cardiovascular disease in women and men and it points out that a similar strategy can be important for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men and women.
While conducting the study the scientists assessed risk factors, including metabolic (such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes), behavioural (smoking and diet), and psychosocial (economic status and depression) in about 1,56,000 people without a history of CVD between the ages of 35 and 70.
The scientists tracked the lives of people living in 21 low, middle and high-income countries on five continents and they were followed for an average of 10 years. The findings of the study were published in The Lancet journal on Friday.
“Women and men have similar CVD risk factors, which emphasizes the importance of a similar strategy for the prevention of CVD in men and women,” said the paper’s lead author Marjan Walli-Attaei, a research fellow at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).
The study also revealed that overall, women had a lower risk of developing CVD than men, especially at younger ages.
However, the diet was more strongly associated with CVD risk in women than men – “something that’s not been previously described and which requires independent confirmation,” said Salim Yusuf, lead investigator of the study, senior author, executive director of PHRI, professor of medicine at McMaster, and cardiologist at HHS.
Meanwhile, high levels of bad cholesterol and symptoms of depression were more strongly associated with CVD risk in men than in women. The patterns of these findings were generally similar in high-income countries and upper-middle-income countries, and in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.