Pre-eclampsia, cannabis, hormonal contraception… These factors, which have never been studied, can predispose to the occurrence of myocardial infarction in patients under 50 years of age.
- 86% of participants who had a heart attack had standard modifiable risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking or dyslipidemia.
- Pregnancy complications account for 30% of myocardial infarction cases.
- Only 15% of women benefit from cardiac rehabilitation.
“Cardiovascular diseases are on the decline in general. Today, however, they are the leading cause of death among women”, points out Catherine Monpère, cardiologist and co-president of the “Coeur de Femmes” Commission of the French Federation of Cardiology (FFC). Problem: only 46% of patients say they are aware of it, according to the results of the latest Ifop barometer presented during a press briefing by the Federation on April 13. According to the survey, prevention methods are well identified, but women are still struggling to put in place actions to take care of their heart on a daily basis.
The latter also reveals that French women over the age of 50 seem to be generally well informed about the risk factors for cardiovascular pathologies, even if tobacco and stress are the two causes that are not very present in their minds. In contrast, younger patients have less knowledge about cardiovascular health. As proof: 47% of people under 25 mistakenly believe that men are the first victims of cardiovascular disease.
Myocardial infarction: “30% of patients had pregnancy complications”
“In recent years, a marked increase in the number of myocardial infarctions has been observed in these patients”, alert Catherine Monpère. To better understand the causes of “this increase in cases among young women”, the FFC financed a scientific study, called “WAMIF (Young Women Presenting Acute Myocardial Infarction in France)”. It was conducted with 314 patients, aged under 50, in 30 French centers for 18 months. “The youngest is 19 and the oldest is 42”, specifies Stéphane Manzo-Silberman, cardiologist at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and coordinator of the work.
According to the specialist, 86% of the participants had standard modifiable risk factors: “high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking or even dyslipidemia (i.e. an abnormality in the level of cholesterol in the blood).” According to the results, 75% of hospitalized patients are smokers. “10% used cannabis”, specifies Stéphane Manzo-Silberman. Obesity also promotes the occurrence of a heart attack in 28% of cases and a sedentary lifestyle in 40% of cases. Worrying number: “30% of patients had pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension. The study also showed that 87% of women on combined estrogen-progestogen contraception had at least one – indication to this association”, adds the practitioner.
Only 15% of women benefit from cardiac rehabilitation
At the end of this research, the volunteers went through a cardiac rehabilitation program, which should not be neglected. The latter consists of evaluating the patient’s risk factors, their respiratory capacities, recommending physical exercises to improve their cardiovascular condition, giving them advice on nutrition and diet and helping them to manage their anxiety or depression. “In France, only 15% of women benefit from it because of the insufficient number of places, a lack of persuasion from the medical profession or the fact that patients are responsible for a parent or children and cannot However, not going to rehabilitation leads to a loss of chance estimated at 26%”, deplores Catherine Monpère.