Previous studies show young women have a greater burden of pre-existing risk factors.

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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Young women may have worse long-term effects than young men after suffering a heart attack a new study suggests.

Experts presented their findings at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2014, researchers evaluated data for 3,501 participants aged 55 and under who suffered from heart attacks in 2007 thru 2012. 67 percent of the participants were woman.

According to the data, one year after a heart attack women are more likely to have poorer physical and mental functioning as well as a lower quality of life compared to men.

"Previous studies show young women have a greater burden of pre-existing risk factors," said Rachel P. Dreyer, Ph.D., the study's first author and a post-doctoral research associate in cardiovascular medicine at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. "These factors have shown to be more strongly associated with adverse outcomes in women than men."

Some experts are convinced that there is a link between various socio-demographic, clinical and biological causes, such as undetected chest pain, problems with access to care and an increase in work and life responsibilities that impact their health.

Research like this is vital in developing treatments for young women that are specifically designed to improve recovery after a heart attack, said Dreyer.

"We need to identify women at higher risk as well as think about care after they are discharged."

Written by:
Monika Thomas, WUSA9


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