While men are known to be more prone to heart disease, data from a chain of diagnostic centres shows an increasing number of young women in the city detected with high cholesterol, a strong indicator of the high risk of heart ailments.
The two-year data shows 33.05 % of the 46,148 samples from women in the age group 25 to 45 years tested were detected with high cholesterol. During the same period, of the 47,168 samples from men in the same age group, 36.84% were detected with high cholesterol. The tests were carried out between January 2009 and July 2011. The company tested 93, 316 samples of people between ages 25 and 45 years.
Doctors in the city are not surprised. "We have treated 40- to 45-year-old women who suffered heart attacks. It was thought that pre-menopausal women were safe from heart disease. Now, risk factors such as smoking, broader waistlines, insulin resistance are negating the positive hormone effect," said Dr Akshay K Mehta, interventional cardiologist at Nanavati hospital.
Four blood tests - cholesterol (total) serum, trigycerides level in serum, high density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) and low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) were conducted to evaluate the risk factors. Dr Shashank Joshi, consulting endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital, said to cut risk of heart disease, women need to decrease intake of carbohydrates and fat and increase physical activity.