Researchers have found that the impact of major cardiovascular risk factors combined is higher in women than in men and in blacks than in whites.
In the study, led by the American Heart Association, researchers looked at the population attributable risk (PAR) changes in five major modifiable cardiovascular risk factors that included high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
PAR is a measure that takes into account how common a risk factor is and by how much the factors increases the risk of future cardiovascular diseases. On analyzing the data, the researchers noticed that when compared to men, women face a higher risk and in comparison to whites, blacks are at a greater risk. However, the gender gap is reducing but there is a rise in the difference by race.
“We’ve been targeting traditional risk factors in public health campaigns for many years,” said Susan Cheng, M.D., M.P.H., study lead author and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. “We wanted to take a look at how well we’ve been doing over time at keeping these risk factors from causing heart and vascular disease — both by preventing the risks from occurring and by minimizing their effects when they do occur.”