High blood pressure is bad news for adults.
It leads to heart disease and doctors often suggest a medicine called beta-blockers to fight it.
A Curious Case in Italy
Scientists from the University of Bologna in Italy found something interesting. Women who took beta-blockers for high blood pressure and had never had heart disease were more likely to suffer from heart failure than men.
This happened when they faced a serious heart problem called acute coronary syndrome. Let’s dive deeper into their findings.
The Heart of the Study
The scientists wanted to know how beta-blockers affected men and women with high blood pressure.
They especially wanted to know what happened when these folks faced acute coronary syndromes. Acute coronary syndrome is a fancy way of saying a major heart problem.
They also wanted to see if men and women had different outcomes because of their different biology.
Big Numbers, Big Findings
The scientists looked at data from 13,764 adults from 12 European countries. All these people had high blood pressure and no prior history of heart disease.
They split the patients into groups based on their gender and whether they took beta-blockers.
What did they find? Let’s break it down:
- Among the people taking beta-blockers, women had a 4.6% higher rate of heart failure than men when facing a major heart problem.
- The risk of death for both men and women with heart failure was about seven times higher than those with a different kind of heart problem (acute myocardial infarction) and no heart failure.
- Women who had a serious kind of heart attack (STEMI) were 6.1% more likely to have heart failure than men with the same kind of heart attack.
- Men and women not taking beta-blockers had almost the same rate of heart failure.
The Heart of the Matter
The team suggests that women with only high blood pressure and no history of heart disease should really focus on managing their blood pressure through diet and exercise.
They think the higher risk of heart failure for women might be because of how beta-blockers interact with hormone replacement therapy, but they didn’t test this in their study.
This important study was led by Raffaele Bugiardini and was published in a journal called Hypertension.
It’s a reminder that when it comes to our hearts, we need to be careful and thoughtful about the medicines we take.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about 5 medicines to treat high blood pressure, and results showing diets high in flavonoids could help reduce stroke risk.
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