Why women get heart at­tacks later than men

Women de­velop coro­nary artery dis­ease (CAD) al­most 10 years later than men

Fiji Sun - - Showbiz - Feed­back: com.fj IANS ne­mani.de­[email protected]­jisun.

Al­though women de­velop coro­nary artery dis­ease (CAD) al­most 10 years later than men as sci­en­tists have at­trib­uted this decade-long de­lay to the pro­tec­tive ef­fects of sex hor­mones, the heart dis­ease fi­nally catches up with women ow­ing to the pres­ence of “fat-ab­sorb­ing” XX hor­mones. There is a lot of ev­i­dence that hor­mones

like es­tro­gen and pro­ges­terone pro­tect the heart, but sci­en­tists had lit­tle data on the in­flu­ence of the ge­netic com­po­nent - the X chro­mo­some - on the heart.

New re­search at the Uni­ver­sity of Ken­tucky has con­firmed that the pres­ence of XX sex chro­mo­somes in­creases the amount of fat cir­cu­lat­ing in the blood, which leads to nar­row­ing of the ar­ter­ies and ul­ti­mately a higher risk of heart at­tacks and coro­nary artery dis­ease. The team looked at lipids ab­sorbed from the diet and made in the liver. “We looked at how our X sex chro­mo­somes were in­flu­enc­ing the lev­els of lipids in the blood and in the ar­ter­ies,” said Lisa Cas­sis, a re­searcher in the UK Col­lege of Medicine, in a pa­per pub­lished in the jour­nal

What they found is that an XX sex chro­mo­some com­bi­na­tion pro­motes ef­fi­cient use of fat. Women need fat to bear and feed ba­bies, Cas­sis ex­plained.

“We’re set up, po­ten­tially through our XX sex chro­mo­somes, so that we can ef­fec­tively ab­sorb that lipid from the diet and put it into our fat cells and maybe even make it in the liver.”

Cas­sis’s team stud­ied chro­mo­some ef­fects in mice, and for this most re­cent dis­cov­ery they were able to zero in on XX chro­mo­somes by re­mov­ing hor­mones.

Ac­cord­ing to Yasir Al-Si­raj, a post­doc­toral scholar and the pa­per’s first au­thor, if the lev­els of cir­cu­lat­ing lipids trans­ported by the blood are too high, they will start to ac­cu­mu­late in and on the artery wall, lead­ing to plaque buildup. Th­ese plaques harden and nar­row the artery, re­duc­ing blood flow to the vi­tal or­gans. Ev­ery­thing is fine un­til women hit menopause and the pro­tec­tive ef­fects of hor­mones dis­ap­pear, leav­ing women with, what Cas­sis calls, “that XX thrifty, fat-ab­sorb­ing kind of geno­type.”

The team is look­ing at genes that are changed in the liver and in the in­tes­tine to find novel tar­gets for drug devel­op­ment.

If they can find tar­get genes that in­flu­ence ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, sci­en­tists can then ex­plore the ef­fects of ex­ist­ing drugs or de­velop new ones. Th­ese find­ings may also drive choice of diet for post-menopausal women.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.