Dubai (20 April 2012): Women with heart disease are more likely to give birth to female rather than male babies according to a new study presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology. The study found that three-quarters of the 216 children born to 200 pregnant women with diagnosed heart disease were female.
The study reviewed the sex of children born to 200 pregnant women with diagnosed cardiac disease. Sixty-four per cent of these women had diagnosed valvular disease, 19 per cent were living with dilated cardiomyopathy, while 14 per cent had uncorrected or significant residual congenital heart disease.
These 200 women delivered 216 babies of which 75 per cent were female.
"We believe that this is the first study looking at the relationship between gender and the mother's cardiac disease," said Dr. A. Alizadehasl, Tabriz University, Tabriz, Iran. "We hope that this will lead to further investigation into this area."
"This is a very interesting observation," said Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer, World Heart Federation. "The chromosomes in a man's sperm are responsible for the sex of a baby but this study does suggest that there may be a relationship between the health status of the mother and the sex of the babies that she is able to carry to full-term. As the number of women with heart disease is increasing around the world, this could prove to be a very interesting area for further research."
Women and Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke, is the biggest killer of women globally causing 8.6 million deaths annually. Women in low- and middle-income countries who develop CVD are more likely to die from it than comparable women in industrialized nations.
However, women do not perceive CVD as the greatest threat to their health they still feel more threatened by cancer than they do by CVD. The good news is that there are steps women can take to protect their hearts. These include stopping smoking, engaging in physical exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and ensuring a healthy food intake.
Go Red for Women campaign
Go Red for Women is an international awareness campaign dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and control of CVD in women. The American Heart Association created the Go Red for Women campaign in 2004 to empower women with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their heart health. The World Heart Federation, together with more than 40 of its member organizations, has taken the campaign global to bring attention to the fact that CVD is the number one killer of women and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.
Working with members around the world, the World Heart Federation also urges women to know their numbers – have blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked regularly, as high levels can place them at greater risk.
About the World Congress of Cardiology
The World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Sessions (WCC) is the official congress of the World Heart Federation and is held every two years. Through the Congress the World Heart Federation offers an international stage for the latest developments in science and public outreach in the field of cardiovascular health. The WCC places emphasis on the complementary nature of science and public outreach and strives to spread the message that through individual, community and patient-care interventions, the growing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. For more information, please visit: www.worldcardiocongress.org; keep up with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #WCC2012Dubai
About the World Heart Federation
The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke with a focus on low- and middle-income countries via a united community of more than 200 member organizations. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle cardiovascular disease – the world's number one killer. It is a growing membership organization that brings together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives. For more information, please visit: www.worldheart.org; twitter.com/worldheartfed; facebook.com/worldheartfederation