Heart disease: The risk factor ‘more strongly associated’ in women

This isn’t the first time differences have been seen between men and women in terms of how they experience heart disease. A study published earlier this year in the American Heart Journal Plus by the University of Florida discovered how women were more likely than men to develop some forms of heart disease.

The reason why women faced an increased risk of some forms of heart disease, said the authors, was because of a gene, known as RAP1GAP2 present in women, but not in men. On this gene, the University’s Professor Jennifer Duggan said: “RAP1GAP2 is a strong candidate for sex-linked effects on women’s heart disease outcomes.

“Certain DNA markers in this gene are thought to manage the activity of platelets, colourless blood cells that help our blood clot. This also presents a heart attack risk. An overactive gene could cause too many platelets to respond to the clot, which could block the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle and lead to a heart attack.”

One of the reasons why RAP1GAP2 could be linked to an increased risk of heart disease in women is because it doesn’t have the same impact in men, leading experts to theorise a link between the gene and the umbrella of cardiovascular conditions.

READ MORE: Breast implants: FDA issues safety alert

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