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October 2021

Why do men get more heart disease than women? An international perspective

Journal/Book: J Amer Coll Health. 2000; 48: 1319 Eighteenth St NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802, USA. Heldref Publications. 291-294.

Abstract: Biological, behavioral, and psychosocial contributions to the gender gap in coronary heart disease (CHD) are discussed. Although CHD is the Number 1 cause of death for both sexes in the industrialized world, CHD mortality rates between these countries are larger than those between men and women, suggesting that biological factors are not the sole influences on the gender gap in CHD. Traditional coronary risk factors cannot explain the rapid increase in CHD mortality among middle-aged men in many of the newly independent states of eastern Europe. However, eastern European men score higher on stress-related psychosocial coronary risk factors (eg, social isolation, vital exhaustion) than men living in the West. Comparisons between the sexes also reveal gender differences in psychosocial and behavioral coronary risk factors, including excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, favoring women. Overall, it appears that men's coping with stressful events may be less adaptive physiologically, behaviorally, and emotionally, contributing to their increased risk for CHD.

Note: Article Weidner G, SUNY Stony Brook, Dept Psychol, Stony Brook,NY 11794 USA

Keyword(s): gender; heart disease; psychosocial factors; MYOCARDIAL-INFARCTION; MORTALITY; DEPRESSION; HEALTH; RISK; POPULATIONS; COUNTRIES; EUROPE


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