Women are at a higher risk of death from heart failure as compared to men, according to a study in Canada which found that hospitalisation rates increased in women while declining in men.
"This is the first of a series of studies to examine the sex differences in heart failure incidence, outcomes, care delivery and access in Ontario," said Louise Sun from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Canada.
Heart failure is a major cause of illness and death and accounts for 35 per cent of total female cardiovascular deaths, according to the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Recent research indicates that heart failure rates have declined, although information on sex differences in outcomes for men and women is lacking.
To understand sex differences in heart failure outcomes, researchers looked at data on more than 90,000 patients diagnosed with heart failure in Ontario over five years (2009 to 2014).
Of the total cases, 47 per cent were female and were more likely to be older and frailer, to have lower income and to have multiple chronic illnesses.
The number of new heart failure cases was lowest in 2011 and 2012, then began to rise the following year.
Within one year of follow-up after diagnosis, 16.8 per cent (7,156) women died compared with 14.9 per cent (7,138) men.
During the study period, hospitalisation rates for women surpassed rates for men, with 98 women per 1,000 hospitalised in 2013 compared with 91 per 1000 men.
"We found that mortality from heart failure remains high, especially in women; that hospital admissions for heart failure decreased in men but increased in women; and that women and men had different associated comorbidities," the researchers said.
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