Why women develop heart disease 10 years later than men

Updated: Sep 25, 2013, 14:16 PM IST

Washington: A new research has revealed that a biological ability to compensate for the body's reduced response to insulin could help explain why women typically develop heart disease 10 years later than men.

Lead author, Sun H. Kim, MD, MS, of Stanford University School of Medicine, said that among men and women ages 50 or younger with comparable levels of insulin resistance, their study found women experienced fewer complications than men did.

She said that this ability to deal with the fallout from insulin resistance was no longer present when we examined women who were 51 and older.

Kim asserted that this gender difference may illuminate the 'female advantage' - a phenomenon where the onset of cardiovascular disease tends to happen a decade later in women than in men.

The cross-sectional study also examined insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease risk in 468 women and 354 men.

Among participants ages 50 or younger, women had lower blood pressure and fasting blood sugar levels than their male counterparts.

In addition, women had lower levels of triglycerides, fats in the blood that can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The study has been published in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).