Hormones Affect Carotid Plaque Stability and Stroke Vulnerability

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Marija Glisic Epidemiology, Erasmus MC

Marija Glisic

Marija Glisic
Epidemiology, Erasmus MC 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Carotid atherosclerosis is one of most important risk factors for developing stroke. Carotid atherosclerotic plaques characterized by lipid core presence and intraplaque haemorrhage are considered to be unstable, and therefore more prone to rupture and lead to consequent stroke. Sex differences have been observed in carotid plaque composition as well as in stroke incidence. Sex hormones, particularly estrogen and testosterone actions are suggested to underlie the observed sex differences in atherosclerosis. Experimental evidence suggests a direct action of estradiol and testosterone on the vascular system, affecting various mechanisms that may impact plaque composition and subsequently stroke risk.

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Men and Women May Take Different Kinds Of Risks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Thekla Morgenroth

Preferred pronouns: They/them/their
Research Fellow in Social and Organisational Psychology
Psychology
University of Exeter
Washington Singer Laboratories,
Exeter UK 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Risk-taking is often seen as an important trait that leads to economic success – for example when it comes to investing money – and career success. For example, we often hear that leaders need to be willing to take risks. Risk-taking is also strongly associated with masculinity, which leads to the idea that maybe gender differences in economic and career success can be explained by the fact that women are just too risk averse. When you look at the risk-taking literature, it appears that there is support for this idea with many studies showing that men do indeed take more risks than men.

Our research questions these ideas. We show that current measures of risk-taking are biased. They focus only on stereotypical “masculine” risk taking behaviors such as betting your money on the outcome of a sporting event or going whitewater rafting, and ignore the many risks that women take, such as going horseback riding or donating a kidney to a family member. When this bias is addressed, gender differences in risk-taking disappear or even reverse.

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Gossip As An Evolutionary Strategy In Competition For Mates

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Adam C. Davis, MSc

PhD Education student
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Charles Darwin argued that animals compete with members of the same sex for desired mates (i.e., intrasexual competition). Using this framework, evolutionary researchers have explored the variety of ways in which this kind of competition may play out across human cultures. Several researchers have argued that gossip may be an effective way for humans to compete for mates, but most of the research has been indirect up until this point.

In our study, we provide evidence that the reported tendency to compete with same-sex others for mates is associated with gossiping and positive attitudes toward learning about and spreading gossip. Gossip has also been argued to be women’s weapon of choice to compete for mates; however, few studies have tested this hypothesis. We provide evidence that women gossip to a greater extent than men, particularly about social information (e.g., friendships, romantic relationships) and the physical appearance of others (e.g., clothing), whereas men gossip more about achievement (e.g., salaries, promotions). Women also expressed more favourable attitudes toward gossiping than men.

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Why Do Women Take Fewer Financial Risks Than Men?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Patti J. Fisher, Ph.D. Associate Professor in Consumer Studies AHRM Department Virginia Tech

Dr. Fisher

Patti J. Fisher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Consumer Studies
AHRM Department
Virginia Tech

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Risk tolerance is one of the most important factors contributing to wealth accumulation and retirement. It is important to understand why women are less risk tolerant so that financial planners can better serve their needs because women, on average, live longer than men and often need more retirement savings.

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Facial Structure Linked To Sexual Drive and Orientation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Steven Arnocky PhD Faculty of Arts & Science-Psychology Nipissing University Canada

Dr. Arnocky

Steven Arnocky PhD
Faculty of Arts & Science-Psychology
Nipissing University
Canada 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  – Previous research has linked the facial width-to-height ratio to a number of testosterone-mediated traits, primarily in men, such as aggression and achievement drive. Some research has also linked FWHR to testosterone directly, although this research is less consistent. If testosterone is linked to cranio-facial development then we hypothesized that facial masculinization should therefore correlate with other testosterone-linked traits. In both men and women, there is good evidence that testosterone increases sexual motivation.

In two samples of young-adults from two Canadian cities, we found that  facial width-to-height ratio predicted sex-drive, regardless of whether participants were male or female.

In the second study (the larger of the two) we also found that FWHR predicted a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation, in other words, attitudes and behavior consistent with more pluralistic mating, as well as more intended infidelity.

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Why Is HIV More Common in African American Women?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Tiffany Aholou Behavioral Scientist Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention CDC

Dr. Aholou

Dr. Tiffany Aholou
Behavioral Scientist
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
CDC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Women accounted for 24% of people living with HIV in the United States at the end of 2013 and 19% of HIV diagnoses in 2014. Of these diagnoses, 78% were among black women and Latinas. HIV diagnoses among women are overwhelmingly attributed to heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or to be at high risk for, HIV infection. Of note, new HIV diagnoses among US women declined 40% over a 10 year period (2005-2014), yet we continue to see significant racial/ethnic disparities due largely to a complex web of demographic, individual, social and contextual factors with the environment that enables HIV risk behaviors to occur.

While the decline in new HIV diagnoses among US women is noteworthy, in our review of the literature, we found research studies that specifically focus on women and HIV from a domestic perspective were scarce. To fill this gap and sharpen our understanding about sexual behaviors that are associated with heterosexual transmission of HIV, this study used data from three cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth (2006-2008, 2008-2010, and 2011-2013) to examine HIV-related sexual risk and protective behaviors – concurrent sex partnerships, non-monogamous sex partners, and condom use at either last vaginal sex  or anal sex  – among sexually active women aged 18-44 years by race/ethnicity and over time.

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Sex Differences In Brain Structure of Boys and Girls With Conduct Disorder

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Areti Smaragdi, PhD University of Southampton Southampton, UK

Dr. Smaragdi

Areti Smaragdi, PhD
University of Southampton
Southampton, UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Conduct Disorder is a psychiatric disorder that involves severe antisocial behavior – symptoms of the condition include behaviors like physical fighting, pathological lying, and serious theft. The disorder affects around 5% of school-aged children and adolescents, and is up to three times more common in boys than girls. Because of this, very little research has focused on the possible brain basis of the disorder in girls.

We used MRI scanning methods to measure the brain structure of 48 boys and 48 girls with Conduct Disorder (14-18 years old) and 52 boys and 52 girls without severe antisocial behavior. We found that boys and girls with Conduct Disorder had reduced thickness and more folding in the prefrontal cortex, an area at the front of the brain which is responsible for reward and punishment processing and helping us to control our emotions and impulses. In contrast, in some other areas such as the superior frontal gyrus, which is involved in short-term memory, boys and girls with Conduct Disorder showed structural changes in opposite directions (e.g., more versus less folding) compared with controls. This suggests that there are common abnormalities in brain structure in boys and girls with Conduct Disorder, but also some sex differences that might indicate that the causes of the disorder are partly different in boys and girls.

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Brain Imaging Confirms Boys and Girls Experience Depression Differently

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jie-Yu Chuang PhD Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Cambridge, United Kingdom

Dr. Jie-Yu Chuang

Jie-Yu Chuang PhD
Department of Psychiatry
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Men and women appear to suffer from depression differently, and this is particularly striking in adolescents. By 15 years of age, girls are twice as likely to suffer from depression as boys. There are various possible reasons for this, including body image issues, hormonal fluctuations and genetic factors, where girls are more at risk of inheriting depression. However, differences between the sexes don’t just involve the risk of experiencing depression. Men are more liable to suffer from persistent depression, whereas in women depression tends to be more episodic. Compared with women, depressed men are also more likely to suffer serious consequences from their depression, such as substance abuse and suicide. Despite this, so far, most researchers have focused on depression in women, likely because it is more common. As a result, we’d like to make people more aware of the sex difference issue in depression.

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Lower Heart Rate in Adolescent Boys Partly Explains Gender Gap in Crime

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Olivia Choy Ph.D. candidate in Criminology Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania

Olivia Choy

Olivia Choy
Ph.D. candidate in Criminology
Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The higher rate of offending among males compared to females is a well-documented phenomenon. However, little is known about what accounts for this gender difference. As males have been found to have significantly lower heart rates than females and lower resting heart rates have been associated with higher levels of offending, we tested whether low heart rate may partly account for the gender gap in crime.

Resting heart rate at age 11 accounted for 5.4% to 17.1% of the gender difference in crime at age 23.

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Brain Triggers For Eating Differ in Obese Men vs Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Arpana Gupta, Ph.D. Assistant Professor G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program Vatche and Tamar Manoukin Division of Digestive Diseases David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Dr. Gupta

Arpana Gupta, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience
Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program
Vatche and Tamar Manoukin Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Past studies have demonstrated how an imbalance in the processing of rewarding and salient stimuli results in maladaptive or excessive eating behaviors. However, stress and drug use are known to affect how sex and sex hormones modulate responses of the dopamine system involved in reward, and are thought to underlie sex differences in the pathophysiology of drug addiction and treatment response. These results suggest similar sex effects on the mesolimbic reward system may also be at play in obesity.

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ADHD Less Common in Girls, But Has More Serious Consequences

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Jill Pell MD Director of Institute (Institute of Health and Wellbeing) Associate (School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing) University of Glasgow

Prof. Pell

Professor Jill Pell MD
Director of Institute (Institute of Health and Wellbeing)
Associate (School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing)
University of Glasgow

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The novelty of our study lies in its scale and scope. In terms of scope, it reported on six educational outcomes and three health outcomes in the same group of children.

In terms of scale, it is the first study of a whole country to compare educational outcomes of children with treated ADHD with their unaffected peers and is more than 20 times larger than previous studies on similar educational outcomes. The only previous countrywide study on health outcomes, included only children with very severe ADHD who were in psychiatric hospitals.

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Genetic Factors Raise Risk of PTSD After Trauma, Especially in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Laramie E Duncan, PhD</strong> Stanford University

Dr. Duncan

Laramie E Duncan, PhD
Stanford University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that some people experience after a traumatic event, like a terrorist attack, military conflict, or violence in the home. When people have PTSD, they may experience flashbacks to the traumatic event, nightmares, and other recollections of the event that can interfere with their day-to-day lives.

Before this study, not everyone was convinced that genetic factors make some people more prone to developing PTSD than others. Using a study of over 20,000 people and analyzing over two hundred billion (200,000,000,000) pieces of genetic information, we demonstrated that developing PTSD is partly genetic. We also found that genetic factors seem to play a stronger role for women than men, though for everyone, experiencing trauma is still the most important factor.

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Men and African Americans More Likely To Transition to Hypertension At Younger Age

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Shakia Hardy, MPH, CPH. PhD

Dr. Hardy

Shakia Hardy, MPH, CPH. PhD
Department of Epidemiology
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies characterizing blood pressure levels across the life course have relied on prevalence estimates at a given age.

Our study was interested in identifying critical ages at which net transitions between levels of blood pressure occurred. We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2012) to estimate age-, race-, and sex-specific annual net transition probabilities between ideal blood pressure, prehypertension and hypertension.

We found that African Americans and men were more likely to transition from ideal levels of blood pressure in childhood or early adulthood compared to white Americans and women, which puts them at increased risk of developing prehypertension and hypertension earlier in life.

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Men and Women Have Different Post-Op Risks After Joint Replacement

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Darwin Chen, MD Assistant Professor, Orthopaedics Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Darwin Chen

Darwin Chen, MD
Assistant Professor, Orthopaedics
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Total hip and knee replacement surgery are among the most commonly performed orthopaedic procedures today. Although success rates are high, complications can occur and some may be preventable. The goal of our research was to assess the impact of gender on complications within the first 30 days after hip and knee replacement.

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Boy and Girl Fetuses Elicit Different Immune Response in Mother

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Amanda Mitchell PhD Postdoctoral researcher Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Dr. Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell PhD
Postdoctoral researcher
Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our study followed 80 pregnant women across the course of their pregnancy – throughout 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters. We examined whether women exhibited different levels of immune markers called cytokines based on fetal sex. We looked at this in two ways – levels of cytokines in the blood, and levels produced by a sample of immune cells that were exposed to bacteria in the laboratory. While women did not exhibit differences in blood cytokine levels based on fetal sex, we found that the immune cells of women carrying female fetuses produced more proinflammatory cytokines when exposed to bacteria. This means that women carrying female fetuses exhibited a heightened inflammatory response when their immune system was challenged compared to women carrying male fetuses.

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Gender Differences in Sweating Explained By Size

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sean Notley, PhD. Postdoctoral Fellow School of Human Kinetics | École des sciences de l'activité physique University of Ottawa | Université d'Ottawa Ottawa ON

Dr. Notley

Sean Notley, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Human Kinetics | École des sciences de l’activité physique
University of Ottawa | Université d’Ottawa
Ottawa ON

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Gender-differences in human heat loss (skin blood flow and sweating) have long been ascribed to innate differences between men and women. However, we believed that these were more related more to size than to gender, because most previous research compared average (larger) men with average (smaller) women. In our view, the size and shape (morphology) of an individual might be as important, if not more important, than gender in determining heat loss.

When we matched men and women for body morphology, and when we studied those participants in tolerable conditions, we found that larger men and women were more dependent on sweating and less on skin blood flow, while smaller individuals were more reliant on skin blood flow and less on sweating. Moreover, as anticipated, gender differences in those heat-loss responses could be explained almost entirely by individual variations in morphology.

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Gender-Specific Risk Factors for Stroke Outlined

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Catharina J. M. Klijn, MD Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Neuroscience Department of Neurology Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Dr. Catharina J. M. Klijn

Catharina J. M. Klijn, MD
Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Neuroscience
Department of Neurology
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
Nijmegen, the Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The incidence of stroke is higher in men than in women. This difference attenuates with increasing age. Established risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, cigarette smoking and ischemic heart disease are more prevalent in men but only partly explain the difference in stroke incidence. The contribution of oral contraceptive use and hormone therapy to stroke risk has been previously reviewed. We aimed to evaluate what is known on other female- and male specific risk factors for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke incidence and stroke mortality through a systematic review and meta-analysis of 78 studies including over 10 million participants.

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Men and Women Now Drink About Same Amount of Alcohol

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tim Slade, PhD Associate Professor National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre University of New South Wales

Prof. Tim Slade

Tim Slade, PhD
Associate Professor
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
University of New South Wales

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Historically, men have been more likely to drink alcohol than women and to drink in quantities that damage their health. However, evidence points to a significant shift in the drinking landscape with rates of alcohol use converging among men and women born in more recent times. In a bid to quantify this trend over time, we pooled data from 68 published research studies in 36 countries around the world. We looked at how the ratio of men’s to women’s alcohol use differed for people born in different time periods and found that the gap between the sexes consistently narrowed over the past 100 years or so. For example, among cohorts born in the early 1900s men were just over two times more likely than women to drink alcohol. Among cohorts born in the late 1900s this ratio had decreased to almost one meaning that men’s and women’s drinking rates have reached parity.

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Both Men and Women Can Face Financial Barriers After Heart Attack

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Adam L. Beckman
Yale College, New Haven, CT (at the time this work was completed)
Erica S Spatz MD MHS
Assistant Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine
Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation
Yale-New Haven Hospital
Yale University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Beckman: Despite the expansion of insurance coverage, young adults face major challenges to obtaining affordable healthcare. We suspected women may experience greater challenges than men — they often have lower income and less complete medical coverage than men, and care for multiple generations of family, and that this may in part explain why young women have worse outcomes following a heart attack as compared with similarly-aged men.

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TAVR: Women Have More Short Term Complications But Better One-Year Survival

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael A. Gaglia Jr., MD, MSc, FACC, FSCAI Scientific Lead, Population Research Medstar Cardiovascular Research Network Interventional Cardiology Medstar Heart and Vascular Institute Washington, DC 20010

Dr. Michael Gaglia

Michael A. Gaglia Jr., MD, MSc, FACC, FSCAI
Scientific Lead, Population Research
Medstar Cardiovascular Research Network
Interventional Cardiology
Medstar Heart and Vascular Institute
Washington, DC 20010

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Cardiovascular outcomes vary according to gender in a variety of disease states. For example, short-term mortality is higher among women presenting with an acute coronary syndrome in comparison to men. There is a similar trend for higher short-term mortality of women undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting, although this is in part due to a relatively higher burden of comorbidities. Female gender is also a well-established risk factor for bleeding complications after percutaneous coronary intervention.

In regards to women undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis (AS), however, the data is equivocal; some studies suggest higher mortality for women, whereas others suggest improved survival for women.

The emergence of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) as the preferred therapeutic option for patients with severe AS at high or extreme risk for surgery offered another opportunity to examine gender disparities in outcomes. The evidence base for the impact of gender upon TAVR, however, is still evolving. A recent meta-analysis suggested improved long-term survival among women after TAVR. And in general, previous studies also suggest more vascular and bleeding complications in women when compared to men. The goal of this study was relatively simple: to compare outcomes between women and men undergoing TAVR at a single center.

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Stem Cells May Be Stimulated in Women With Chest Pain But Normal Coronary Arteries

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arshed A. Quyyumi MD; FRCP

Dr. Arshed Auyyumi

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Arshed A. Quyyumi MD; FRCP
Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Emory University School of Medicine
Co-Director, Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute
Atlanta GA 30322

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Circulating progenitor or stem cells were discovered in adults 15 years ago. We now know that they may be stimulated by injury or ischemia, and they go down in number and function with aging, particularly when aging is associated with risk factors.

Women with chest pain despite normal coronary arteries are thought to have ischemia because of microvascular dysfunction. We found that these women, with the worst microvascular function (measured as coronary flow reserve), had higher levels of circulating stem or progenitor cells. This implies that the mild ischemia they are having during their normal daily life, leads to stimulation of their stem cells. Also, the vascular abnormality may be a stimulus for repair.

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Poor Work/Life Balance Cited As Main Reason For Few Female Surgeons

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Miss Hui-Ling Kerr
SpR Trauma and Orthopaedics
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic
Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Gender inequality at consultant level in surgery has not improved despite greater opportunities for women and only a small proportion of women apply to become surgical trainees.

We wanted to find out if the lack of female surgical role models acted as a deterrent to first year female junior doctors and final year medical students towards a career in surgery.

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Calcium Supplements May Raise Risk of Dementia in Elderly Women with Cerebrovascular Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Silke Kern, MD, PhD Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit and Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr. Silke Kern

Silke Kern, MD, PhD
Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit and Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory
Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Sahlgrenska Academy
University of Gothenburg
Gothenburg, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Calcium has an important role in ischemic neuronal cell death and atherosclerosis. Several studies suggest that increased serum calcium increases the risk for vascular events and worsens the outcome after stroke. Widespread ischemic neuronal cell death and atherosclerosis might lead to dementia. We therefore examined if Calcium supplementation is associated with development of dementia. Our study is the first to show a relationship between Calcium supplementation and increased risk for dementia in older women. This risk is mainly confined to women with cerebrovascular disease (history of stroke or presence of white matter lesions).

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Sleep Duration Affects Diabetes Risk Differently in Men and Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Femke Rutters Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands; EMGO+ Institute for Care Research

Dr. Femke Rutters

Dr. Femke Rutters
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre
Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
EMGO+ Institute for Care Research

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In the past 10 years the interest in sleep as a possible cause for obesity/diabetes has risen. But data up until now used mainly self-reported sleep and simple measures of diabetes (related parameters), such as fasting glucose. A study on well-measured insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function was lacking. Such a study could provide more information on the pathophysiology.

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Morbidity-Mortality Paradox: Women Live Longer But With More Chronic Illness in Late Life

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kathleen Fischer, PhD Department of Biology UAB | University of Alabama Birmingham Birmingham, AL

Dr. Kathleen Fischer

Kathleen Fischer, PhD
Department of Biology
UAB | University of Alabama Birmingham
Birmingham, AL

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Fischer: Aging is by far the greatest risk factor for most of the chronic, non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes). By discovering the basic mechanisms responsible for aging we can find ways to extend healthy and productive life and reduce the burdens of chronic disease and disability experienced by individuals and society. Sex differences in longevity can provide novel insights into the basic biology of aging; however this aspect of aging has been largely ignored.

Demographic data show that women outlive men in every society during every historical period and in every geographic area. In spite of this robust survival advantage, women suffer far greater morbidity late in life—a phenomenon described as the morbidity-mortality paradox. It is not clear whether this is a general mammalian pattern or something unique to humans. Research on sex differences in aging and age-related diseases in humans and a range of species will be crucial if we are going to identify the basic mechanisms responsible for the patterns we observe.

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Women Underperformed Men in High Level Critical Thinking Examinations

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sara E. Brownell PhD School of Life Sciences Arizona State University Tempe, AZ

Dr. Sara Brownell

Sara E. Brownell PhD
School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Brownell: Our group has been broadly interested in gender biases in introductory biology
since we published a study that showed that women underperform on course
exams and under participate in whole class discussions compared to men
(http://www.lifescied.org/content/13/3/478.full). We were curious why women
might be under performing on these course exams so in this new study, we
examined characteristics of the exams to see if that had an impact. What we
found was that women and men perform equally on questions that test basic
memorization. However, when questions tested more higher-level critical
thinking skills, women were not scoring as high as men. This happened even
when we took into account the academic ability of the students – women and men
who had the same ability coming into the class. We also found that students
from lower socioeconomic statuses also underperformed on these higher-level
critical thinking questions compared to students from higher socioeconomic
statuses, again even when we took into account academic ability.
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What Are There Fewer Women in Surgical Subspecialties?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alison M. Fecher, MD Assistant Professor of Surgery Indiana University Health

Dr. Alison Fecher

Alison M. Fecher, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Indiana University Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Fecher: It has long been known that female faculty are underrepresented in departments of surgery at U.S. medical schools. Our study wanted to identify obstacles women face in entering certain surgical subspecialties and in career advancement. We found that women are poorly represented in some of the most competitive subspecialties, including cardiothoracic and transplant surgery. We also found that women tend to advance more slowly up the career ladder, with many of them spending more years at the assistant professor level than their male counterparts. One reason for this may be that they tend to publish less peer-reviewed articles than male faculty; however, our results show that the publications of female faculty often has a greater impact on the field, as measured by citations and recentness of articles.

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Menstrual Hormones May Give Women Some Resistance To Kidney Damage

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

A.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Judith Lechner Div. Physiology Medical University of Innsbruck Innsbruck Austria

Dr. Judith Lechner

A.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Judith Lechner
Div. Physiology
Medical University of Innsbruck
Innsbruck Austria

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Lechner: Women are not just small men. Sex differences affect most, if not all the organ systems in the body. Over the past decades biomedical researchers have been mainly using male models. Therefore, there is a significant gap in knowledge of female physiology except for organ functions involved in reproduction. While the necessity to fill in these gaps has been advocated, our understanding of sex and gender differences in human physiology and pathophysiology is still limited. This holds especially true for the kidneys, e.g. while international registries show that fewer women than men are in need of renal replacement therapy due to end stage renal disease, the potentially underlying causes are still not known.

The aim of our study was to find out, if hormone changes due to the female menstrual cycle would affect normal renal cells. For this purpose, urinary samples of healthy women of reproductive age were collected daily and analyzed for menstrual cycle-associated changes of marker proteins. Specifically, two enzymes (Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, Glutathione-S-transferase alpha) were measured, which are intracellular components of proximal tubular cells, a key population of renal cells. Upon cell damage, these enzymes are released into the urine, qualifying them as clinical markers for early detection of tubular injury. Since even in healthy persons low amounts of these enzymes can be detected in the urine, we used these marker proteins to analyze potential effects of the female hormone cycle on normal functioning of this cell population. As a result, we could detect transient increases of Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and Glutathione-S-transferase alpha correlating with specific phases of the female hormone cycle, namely ovulation and menses.

This finding suggests that cyclical changes of female hormones might affect renal cell homeostasis, potentially providing women with an increased resistance against kidney damages. Thus, recurring changes of sex hormone levels, as during the natural menstrual cycle, might be involved in periodic tissue re-modeling not only in reproductive organs, but to a certain extent in the kidneys as well.

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Women Attend Fewer Cardiac Rehabilitation Sessions Than Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sherry L. Grace, PhD Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science York University Sr. Scientist, Cardiorespiratory Fitness Team Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network Toronto Western Hospital Toronto, ON

Dr. Sherry Grace

Sherry L. Grace, PhD
Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science
York University
Sr. Scientist, Cardiorespiratory Fitness Team
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network
Toronto Western Hospital
Toronto, ON

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Grace: Cardiac rehabilitation is an outpatient chronic disease management program. It is a standardized model of care, comprised of risk factor assessment and management, exercise training, patient education, as well and dietary and psychosocial counseling. Patients generally attend two times a week for several months.

Participation in cardiac rehab has been shown to reduce death and disability. This is a dose-response association, such that more cardiac rehab participation is associated with even less death, etc. Therefore, it is important that patients adhere to the program, or participate in all the prescribed sessions.

No one has ever reviewed patient adherence to cardiac rehab in a systematic way. It has always been assumed that patients only attend about half of prescribed sessions. Also, many studies have shown that women attend fewer sessions than men. However, this has been known for some time, so we would hope that in the current era, this sex difference would not exist. No study has ever aggregated and analyzed sex differences in program adherence, so we set out to do this.

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Females Tolerate Ischemia After Kidney Transplantion Better Than Males

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Matthew Levine, MD, PhD Associate professor of Transplant Surgery Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Mathew Levine

Matthew Levine, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Transplant Surgery
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Levine: This work stemmed from a known finding that female mice tolerate kidney injury better than males and this is true of mice that share exactly the same genes.  Therefore, the gender difference was the driving factor.  My basic science laboratory works at the intersection between scientific discovery and clinical application and this led us to question whether the same phenomenon was true in humans and whether we could identify a way in which this could be used to improve injury tolerance above what is seen in untreated subjects.  What we found was that the hormonal environment seems to impact ischemia tolerance, with female environment being protective and the male environment worsening injury tolerance in ischemia models where blood flow is interrupted and then restored.  The kidneys seemed to adapt to take on the injury response of the host after transplantation, indicating that the differences were not forged into the kidney itself and therefore could be altered.  We then found that estrogen therapy improved kidney injury tolerance when given to female mice in advance of injury, but no effect was seen in male mice.  And most importantly, we found that in a large cohort of transplant recipients that female recipients had better injury tolerance after transplant than male recipients, as shown by ability to avoid dialysis in the first week after transplant, otherwise known as delayed graft function (DGF). This is a fairly major finding since it has not been observed in the literature despite several decades of transplant data being carefully studied.

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Gender Differences in Stress Test and CT Angiography in Patients with Suspected CAD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Neha J. Pagidipati
Duke Clinical Research Institute
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, North Carolina

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Pagidipati: Women and men experience coronary artery disease differently, and a great deal of literature has shown that these differences extend to the diagnostic performance of various noninvasive testing modalities. However, little is known about the sex-specific prognostic value of computed tomographic angiography (CTA) and functional stress testing.

We used data from the recent PROMISE trial to address this question. The PROMISE trial enrolled 10,003 patients (53% women) with stable symptoms suggestive of coronary artery disease to a diagnostic strategy of CTA vs stress testing, and found no differences in outcomes overall or by sex. We found that in women, a CTA is less likely to be positive, but when it is positive, it appears to have greater predictive value for a future cardiovascular event (all cause death, myocardial infarction, or unstable angina hospitalization) than stress testing. In men, a stress test is less likely to be positive, and though stress testing trended towards being more predictive of future events, there was no statistically significant difference in the prognostic value of either test type.

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Women With Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease Have Higher Mortality Than Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Nathaniel Smilowitz, MD
Fellow, Cardiovascular Disease
NYU Langone Medical Center

MeicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Smilowitz: Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, is a leading cause of death worldwide.  In the majority of patients with MI, examination of the coronary blood vessels by angiography reveals an obstruction that limits blood flow to the heart muscle.  However, some patients develop MI with non-obstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA) at angiography.  This condition is identified more commonly in younger patients and women, and in prior studies, in-hospital death after MINOCA was lower than for MI with obstructive coronary artery disease (MI-CAD).  Despite favorable outcomes associated with MINOCA, young women paradoxically have overall higher in-hospital death after MI in comparison to younger men.  Although sex differences in post-MI mortality are known to vary with age, the interaction between age, sex, and the presence of obstructive coronary artery disease at angiography on death post-MI had not been previously established.

In this study, we confirmed that in-hospital mortality is lower after MINOCA than MI-CAD and that women are more likely to have MINOCA than men.  No sex difference in mortality was observed among patients with MINOCA, but women of all ages had significantly higher mortality after MI-CAD than men.  With advancing age, mortality increased to a greater degree in patients with MI-CAD than MINOCA and in men vs. women.

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Some Aging Interventions May Have Opposite Effects in Men and Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John Tower, PhD Professor, Molecular and Computational Biology Program Department of Biological Sciences USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-2910

Dr. John Tower

John Tower, PhD
Professor, Molecular and Computational Biology Program
Department of Biological Sciences
USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2910

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Tower: Possible interventions in aging that are currently being studied include alterations to the diet and also drugs that target the p53 and TOR pathways.  Our results show that these manipulations sometimes have opposite effects on survival in males versus females.

In addition, our results show that the same “low-vitality” individuals in the population are susceptible to death caused by disease and to death caused by aging.  This is called the “Strehler-Mildvan” relationship, and these “low-vitality” individuals could be related to human frailty.

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Despite Fewer Social Burdens, White Older US Men More Vulnerable To Suicide

Silvia Sara Canetto, Ph.D., Professor Faculty in the Department of Psychology, and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research, Department of Ethnic Studies, and in the Human Development and Family Studies Department Colorado State University

Dr. Silvia Sara Canetto

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Silvia Sara Canetto, Ph.D., Professor
Faculty in the Department of Psychology, and
Affiliate Faculty in the
Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research,
Department of Ethnic Studies, and in the
Human Development and Family Studies Department
Colorado State University 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Canetto: In the United States, older men of European descent (so called white men) have significantly higher suicide rates than any other demographic group. For example, their suicide rates are significantly higher than those of older men of African, Latino or Indigenous descent, as well as relative to older women across ethnicities.

Behind these facts there is a cultural story, not just individual journeys of psychological pain and despair. Colorado State University’s Silvia Sara Canetto has spent a large portion of her research career seeking to uncover cultural stories of suicide.

A professor in the College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Psychology, Canetto adds a new chapter to that story in an article recently published in the journal Men and Masculinities. The article features a critical review of theories and research on suicide among older men.

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Personalized Diabetes Management Effective For Women But Not Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Marlene Øhrberg Krag , MD, MIH

Department of Public Health
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Krag: In this follow-up study we wanted to assess whether there was any difference in longterm treatment outcome of personally tailored diabetes care when comparing men and women.

The “Diabetes Care in General Practice” trial included people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Patients were randomized to receive 6 years of either routine care or personally tailored care with regular follow-up, individualized treatment goal setting and continuing education of the participant general practitioners.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Krag: Following up the patients for 13 years after 6 years of intervention a significant reduction in all cause mortality and diabetes related death was seen for women but not men. This difference could not be explained by intermediate outcomes like HgbA1c alone, and is suggested to be based on a complex of biological, social and cultural issues of gender . Women accept disease and implement disease management more easily than men, whereas men may feel challenged by diabetes, demanding daily consideration and lifestyle changes. Furthermore the study provided attention and support, which the women reported they lack and this could provide an incentive to treatment adherence.

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Younger Women Drinking More Like Men

Aaron White, PhD Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director Office of the Director National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD

Dr. Aaron White

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aaron White, PhD
Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director
Office of the Director
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. White: Recent studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that alcohol use by women in the United States might be on the rise and that long-standing gender gaps in drinking and related consequences might be narrowing. Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, we found that differences in the drinking patterns of females and males ages 12+ narrowed between 2002 and 2012 for current drinking (drinking at least once in the last 30 days), number of drinking days per month, past year DSM-IV alcohol abuse, and past-year driving under the influence of alcohol. For instance, the percentage of women who drank in the previous 30 days rose from 44% to 48%, while for men the percentage decreased from 57% to 56%. Average drinking days per month increased for women from 6.8 to 7.3 days, but dropped for males from 9.9 to 9.5 days. Driving under the influence (DUI) declined for both, but less so for females (from 10.3% to 7.9%) than males (from 19.0% to 14.4%), thereby narrowing the gender gap for DUI. Analyses revealed additional changes within specific age groups in the population.

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Relatively Few Women Physicians Choose Cardiology as Career

Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, FASE, FAHA Ursula Geller Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Disease Duke University School of Medicine

Dr. Douglas

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, FASE, FAHA

Ursula Geller Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Disease
Duke University School of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Douglas: The impetus for our study was the concern that cardiology as a profession might be enhanced by greater diversity. By not attracting women in larger numbers (9% of FACCs are female), our fellowships have incomplete access to the talent pool of outstanding residents, and we do not have a diverse group of clinicians to care for our increasingly diverse patient population, or of researchers to explore potentially important health care disparities.

Our findings were twofold: first, job descriptions for men and women cardiologists are dramatically different. Men are much more likely to do invasive procedures while women are more likely to see patients and perform imaging/noninvasive tests.  While there were slightly more women working part time than men this was still rare, and the difference in number of days worked was just 6, across an entire year.

The second finding was that there was a significant difference in compensation. Unadjusted, this was over $110, 000 per year; after very robust adjustment using over 100  personal, practice, job description and productivity measures, the difference was $37, 000 per year, or over a million dollars across a career. A separate independent economic analysis of wage differentials yield a similar difference of $32,000 per year.

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Men Develop Six Times As Many Scars on Their Heart As Women

Dr. David Bluemke MD, PhD, MsB Director of Radiology and Imaging Sciences NIH Clinical Center Bethesda, MD

Dr. Bluemke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. David Bluemke MD, PhD, MsB
Director of Radiology and Imaging Sciences
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, MD 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Bluemke: Heart disease is the most common reason for death and disability of adults in the United States and worldwide. This study evaluated 1,840 adults in six communities throughout the United States, ages 45-84. In normal adults, the heart is a muscle, but various injuries to the heart (the most severe being a myocardial infarction/ heart attack) occur over an individual’s lifetime. These injuries result in heart muscle being replaced by a scar composed of fibrous tissue. The main finding is that even in healthy, middle and older adults, about 1 in 12 adults in the U.S. have developed scars in the heart. Most of these (80%) are not detected by their doctor, or by other tests such as ECG.

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Brains of Men and Women More Similar Than Different

Dr-Lise-EliotMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lise Eliot PhD

Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Chicago Medical School
Rosalind Franklin University
North Chicago, IL 60064   

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Eliot: The hippocampus participates in many behaviors that differ between men and women, such as episodic memory, emotion regulation, and spatial navigation.  Furthermore, the hippocampus is known to atrophy in diseases such as depression, anxiety disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease, all of which are more prevalent in women.  It is conceivable that a premorbid difference in hippocampal volume contributes to females’ greater vulnerability.  In the scientific literature, the hippocampus is often said to be proportionally larger in females than males.  We set out to test this by doing a systematic review of the literature for hippocampal volumes in matched samples of healthy males and females, measured using structural MRI data collected from over 6000 participants of all ages.

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Men At Higher Risk of Severe Pneumonia

Annabelle de St. Maurice MD, MPH Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow Vanderbilt Children's HospitaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Annabelle de St. Maurice MD, MPH
Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow
Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. de St. Maurice: Susceptibility to certain infectious diseases appears to vary by gender. For example, males may be at increased risk of certain infections in childhood, including lower respiratory tract infections such as RSV, however females may have more severe infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy. Some early studies have suggested that males may be at increased risk of pneumococcal infections but this has not been confirmed. Furthermore, whether those potential gender differences remain after introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is unknown.

Invasive pneumococcal disease, which includes meningitis, bacteremic pneumonia and bacteremia/septicemia, is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States in children and adults. The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) led to declines in invasive pneumococcal disease rates as well as eliminated racial disparities in regards to invasive pneumococcal disease rates. Our study sought to identify potential gender differences in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease, and to determine the impact of vaccines on gender differences in the susceptibility to these diseases.

We conducted a large study that used data from a population-based surveillance system of invasive pneumococcal diseases in Tennessee. This is part of a large CDC funded network of surveillance sites for these diseases. For our study, we identified patients with laboratory-confirmed invasive pneumococcal disease, and calculated the incidence of invasive pneumococcal diseases from 1998-2013 by gender. We also stratified the calculations by age groups and race, both well-known factors that affect the occurrence of invasive pneumococcal disease.

Our study found that males had generally higher rates of invasive pneumococcal disease than females across age groups, regardless of race. Although introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines led to a significant decrease in invasive pneumococcal disease rates, males continued to have higher rates than females in several age groups.

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Kidney Stone Risk Affected By Age and Sex

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Majuran Perinpam, BsC

Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minn

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Response: The four key urinary factors: Calcium, magnesium, oxalate and uric acid are all implicated in kidney stone formation. Age and sex are known to influence kidney stone risk and type (1). However the effects of demographics on excretion of the four key urinary factors are not clear. Since diet alters urinary excretions of the four factors, adjusting for this is important. During metabolic evaluation of kidney stone patients, these urinary factors are often measured in 24-hour urine samples. However, often a single adult reference range is used and the effect of demographics is rarely taken into account during the interpretation of results.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?

Response: From a cohort of 709 healthy individuals we found a substantial influence of age and sex on the excretion of urinary calcium. Adjusted models showed that urinary calcium, magnesium, oxalate and uric acid were all less in females, possibly explaining why kidney stones are more dominant in males (1). Also a positive association of urinary uric acid excretion with Cystatin C eGFR, but not eGFR calculated from creatinine, suggests cystatin C to possibly being involved in inflammation and hyperuricemia. But further studies are needed to investigate this.

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Pre-Hospital Delay Influences Sex Differences in Acute Coronary Care

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Raffaele Bugiardini, M.D.
Professor of Cardiology
University of Bologna

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Bugiardini: Our analysis differs from previous reports of outcomes following STEMI because prior studies have not looked at sex differences in outcomes adjusted for time from symptom onset to hospital presentation and subsequent utilization of cardiac revascularization procedures, and rates of revascularization are typically significantly lower in women compared with men

Our study is the first to look at the relationship between delays and outcomes. Continue reading

Study Shows Men and Women Face Illness Differently

photo_Vasileios ZikosMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Vasileios Zikos
Assistant Professor
Research Institute for Policy Evaluation and Design (RIPED) and School of Economics
University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC)
Bangkok, Thailand

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Zikos: Economic studies that look at subjective well-being typically focus on how and why life circumstances affect an individual’s life satisfaction. While such studies provide valuable insights on the average effects of life changes, they often find substantial variability in the way individuals react to life events. In this study we take a step toward identifying sources of individual heterogeneity by focusing on the link between physical or mental illnesses and health satisfaction and asking whether gender and personality can explain how people cope with becoming ill.

Earlier studies in psychology suggest that personality traits might be relevant to health and health-related behaviors. This allows us to hypothesize what could be the specific role of personality traits when people confront being ill. Our study is based on data collected in the British Household Panel Survey, a national longitudinal data set from the United Kingdom. The survey asked people about their happiness and satisfaction with aspects of their life. It also asked about their physical and mental health and about their personalities, among other things. Our study separates people into three groups: with physical illness only, with mental illness only and with both physical and mental types of illness. Because earlier studies found evidence of personality differences between genders, we conduct our analysis separately for men and women.

We found that illness implies a strong negative effect on the individual’s health satisfaction. Men are less affected by a single-symptom illness than women, but are more affected when more than one symptom is present. The number of symptoms doesn’t change how women are affected. Moreover, women with one of two distinct personality types are less affected by mental illness than all other personality types. The first personality type, high levels of agreeableness, experience high quality relationships in their lives. The second type, women with low levels of conscientiousness, have little need for achievement, order or persistence. For men, however, we did not find statistical evidence that personality affects how they cope with illness.

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Mental Stress Linked To Poor Heart Attack Recovery For Women

Xiao Xu, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Yale University School of Medicine andMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Xiao Xu, PhD Assistant Professor
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Yale University School of Medicine and

Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Professor of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, of Investigative Medicine and of Public Health (Health Policy);  Co-Director, Clinical Scholars Program;  Director, Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation New Haven, CT 06510Harlan M Krumholz MD, SM
Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Professor of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, of Investigative Medicine and of Public Health (Health Policy);  Co-Director, Clinical Scholars Program;  Director, Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation New Haven, CT 06510

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prior research of heart attack has mostly examined older patients, while few studies have focused on younger patients. Although we know that younger women differ from men and older patients in heart attack etiology and mortality, there is limited data on non-mortality outcomes of younger women and factors influencing their recovery. Mental stress is a particularly relevant factor for younger women as prior research showed higher stress in women than in men and an inverse association between age and stress. Therefore, in this study, we compared women and men 18-55 years old with heart attack and examined gender difference in mental stress and its potential role in explaining the worse recovery in women.

We addressed these questions using data from the Variation in Recovery: Role of Gender on Outcomes of Young AMI Patients (VIRGO) project, which is the largest prospective observational study of young and middle-aged women and men with heart attack and has comprehensive information on patients’ clinical and psychosocial characteristics. Our findings showed significantly higher stress in women than in men. Moreover, mental stress is associated with worse recovery in multiple health outcomes 1 month after heart attack, such as angina-specific and overall quality of life. The greater stress in women may partially contribute to their worse recovery.

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CABG Risk Greater For Women

Giovanni Filardo, PhD, MPH Director of Epidemiology,  Baylor Scott & White Health, Dallas, TX The Bradley Family Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Epidemiology, Baylor University Medical Center Director of Cardiovascular Epidemiology, The Heart Hospital Baylor, Plano, TX Research Associate Professor of Statistics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TXMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Giovanni Filardo, PhD, MPH
Director of Epidemiology,  Baylor Scott & White Health, Dallas, TX
The Bradley Family Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Epidemiology, Baylor University Medical Center
Director of Cardiovascular Epidemiology, The Heart Hospital Baylor, Plano, TX
Research Associate Professor of Statistics,
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Filardo: Studies examining outcomes after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) by gender and/or race show conflicting results.  It remains to be determined if, or how, gender and race are independent risk factors for CABG operative mortality.

Our findings suggest that women face a significantly greater risk of operative death that should be taken into account during the treatment decision-making process, but that race is not associated with CABG mortality and so should not be among the factors considered.

Citation:

Effect of Gender and Race on Operative Mortality after Isolated Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Pollock, Benjamin et al.
American Journal of Cardiology December 17, 2014

 

 

Men and Women Receive Different Blood Pressure Medications

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Charlotta Ljungman, MD, PhD
Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Cardiology
Gothenburg, Sweden

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Ljungman: The background of this study is the known differences between women and men regarding antihypertensive therapy. In studies both in Europe and the United States it has been shown that women are more often treated with diuretics and men with ACE-inhibitors. The reasons for these differences is not known but it has been suggested that differences in comorbidities between women and men can contribute to this finding. In our study we tested if comorbidities could explain the differences but could conclude that the differences persist even after taking comorbidities (mainly diabetes mellitsu and cardiovascular comorbidity) into account.

Women were more often treated with thiazide diuretics and beta blockers and men with ACE inhibitors and Ca channel blockers. Further women with diabetes and hypertension were not treated with ACEinhibitors and ARBS as often as their male counterparts.

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Why Do Women Have A Better Sense of Smell?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Roberto Lent

Diretor, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas
Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Bloco K, sala 2-35
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Lent: Our group has been studying the absolute numbers of cells in the human brain, using a novel technique that we have developed. We have done it for
the whole male brain, and arrived at a figure of 86 billion neurons and 85
billion glial cells, 15% less than the round number that became a neuromyth
(one hundred billion neurons). We did it also for the demented brain, in
this case working with females, and showed that it is dementia that is
associated with a loss of neurons, because people with alzheimer, but no
dementia, displayed normal numbers of neurons.

The present paper focuses on sexual dimorphism in the olfactory bulb, and
revealed that women have around 40% more neurons and glial cells than men,
what correlates with their superior performance in many olfactory
abilities.
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Sexual Temptations and Gender Differences

Natasha Tidwell Graduate Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant Department of Psychology Texas A&M University - College Station 208 State Chemistry Building  Texas A&M UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Natasha Tidwell
Graduate Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant
Department of Psychology
Texas A&M University – College Station
208 State Chemistry Building
Texas A&M Universit


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Basically, two studies demonstrated that men’s tendency to engage in “off limits” sexual behaviors more than women is linked to sex differences in impulse, not control.

In Study 1, we asked participants to reflect on previous times they succumbed to sexual temptations they felt were inappropriate some way. Based on their responses, we found that men both experienced stronger impulses and engaged in behavior based on these impulses more than women did. However, there was no reported difference in how much men and women exerted self-control.
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