Women’s Cardiovascular Health

Program in Research on Women’s Cardiovascular Health

Topics involving women’s cardiovascular health are active areas of research ongoing in the Institute. Premenopausal women have a lower incidence of clinical cardiovascular disease as compared to postmenopausal women or men of the same age. Recent trials, however, have shown that hormone replacement therapy does not lower the risk of coronary events in post-menapausal women. The reasons for these findings are unclear and a topic of ongoing clinical and basic studies.

It has been suggested that there are differences between women and men in the extent of coronary artery disease in relation to risk factors. In addition, there may be higher in-hospital mortality after revascularization in younger but not older women in comparison to men. Dr. Alice Jacobs has been central in this ongoing debate and in recommendations specifically concerning coronary revascularization in women.

Because acute coronary events are caused by thrombosis due to clot formation in the coronary arteries, the likelihood that certain women are more likely to get these clots is being investigated. Such thrombosis is often caused by platelets, anuclear blood cells that normally provide the first line of hemostatic defense following vessel injury. Dr. Jane Freedman and colleagues have recently shown that subjects with a genetic predisposition may be more likely to form clots due to platelets after supplementation with estrogen.

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine