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Heart Attack And Low-Income Women: Health Risks Of Being Disadvantaged

By Christie Abagon , Jan 19, 2017 09:34 PM EST
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Being disadvantaged does not only affect the financial capability of a person, it also has impacts on health - especially women. A recent study shows that low-income women face a greater risk in getting a heart attack - more than disadvantaged men.

Women With Lower Socioeconomic Status Have A Higher Risk For Heart Disease

Researchers at The George Institute for Global Health, in Britain found that the risk for heart attack and heart disease is higher across the board for those with a lower socioeconomic status but that the increased risk was higher again for women, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Study authors reviewed 116 studies, involving 22 million people from Australia, Asia, Europe and the U.S. Results show that disadvantaged women are 25 per cent more likely to have a heart attack than their male counterparts. Dr Sanne Peters, research fellow, said that it is already known that people from low-income or disadvantaged backgrounds are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke compared with people from more affluent backgrounds, but their study shows that there is a difference between sexes.

Women Are Generally Less Likely To Initiate Preventative Treatment

Dr Kathryn Backholer, one of the researchers, said that her team ruled out many risk factors as the cause of the gap, believing instead that delayed identification and treatment of high-risk women is involved. She said that the sex difference is unlikely to be caused by traditional risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, and it's more likely to be explained by differences in identifying risks of heart disease and subsequent management.

"We know that in general, women are less likely to initiate preventative treatment for heart disease and we also know that people with lower socioeconomic status are less likely to seek and initiate preventative treatment, so combined it's more likely to explain the sex difference. The study which was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health called for further research into what causes the heightened risk for low-income women.

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