Some blood pressure drugs may raise heart failure risk in women

Credit: Unsplash+

In a study from the University of Bologna, researchers have unearthed a startling difference in how a common heart medication, known as beta-blockers, works in women compared to men.

These medications are widely used to manage high blood pressure, a leading contributor to heart-related issues.

Traditionally, beta-blockers have been a go-to for controlling hypertension, aiming to lower the risk of heart complications.

However, this study sheds light on a concerning trend: women with no history of heart disease taking beta-blockers are nearly 5% more likely to experience heart failure than their male counterparts, especially when facing acute coronary syndrome—a sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart.

Diving deep into the data, the research analyzed the health records of 13,764 adults from 12 different European countries.

These individuals, despite their hypertension, had no prior heart disease. They were grouped based on their gender and whether they were under beta-blocker treatment.

The findings were quite revealing:

  • Women on beta-blockers were found to have a 4.6% higher risk of heart failure upon hospital admission for acute coronary syndrome compared to men.
  • The death rate from heart failure was alarmingly seven times higher for both men and women than for those suffering an acute myocardial infarction (a heart attack) without heart failure.
  • Specifically, women encountering an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a severe heart attack caused by a complete blockage of a coronary artery, had a 6.1% higher likelihood of heart failure than men with the same condition.
  • Interestingly, the heart failure rates for men and women not taking beta-blockers were much more aligned.

This revelation prompts a critical examination of how blood pressure in women, particularly those without a history of heart disease, should be managed. The study hints at the importance of lifestyle interventions, like diet and exercise, as foundational steps.

It also opens a discussion on the potential interplay between hormone replacement therapy and beta-blockers, suggesting that this combination might contribute to the increased risk, although this aspect wasn’t directly studied.

The implications of this research are significant, highlighting the need for a more personalized approach in treating hypertension.

It stresses the importance of gender considerations in medical treatment, pointing out that what works for one gender might not have the same efficacy, or safety, for the other.

For individuals concerned about heart health, particularly women with hypertension, this study underscores the critical need for close monitoring and possibly reevaluating treatment plans to prevent the risk of heart failure.

Published in the prestigious journal Hypertension, the study led by Raffaele Bugiardini and his team provides valuable insights into heart health and emphasizes the necessity for gender-specific research in medical science.

It’s a call to action for both healthcare professionals and patients to consider the unique aspects of heart disease and treatment efficacy across genders.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies that herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm, and how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and results showing yogurt may help lower the death risks in heart disease.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.