No two humans are alike, whether physically, physiologically or genetically. An extension to this theory is the gap between the two genders that is prevalent in our society from ages. This gap needn’t necessarily be societal relevance or status driven, however the discrimination still exists. And now science has evidence to back this claim!
A recent study which appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology states that mental stress affects the male and female hearts differently.While most men experience fluctuations in blood pressure and heart rate due to extreme mental stress, females are more prone to myocardial ischemia – decreased blood flow to the heart.
For the results, researchers from the Duke Heart Center at Duke University looked at 56 women and 254 men diagnosed with heart disease induced by mental stress. “The findings revealed that mental stress affects the cardio-vascular health of men and women differently. We need to recognise this difference when evaluating and treating patients for cardio-vascular disease,” said Zainab Samad, study lead author and assistant professor of medicine at the Duke University in the US.
After undergoing baseline testing, participants carried out three mentally stressful tasks – a mental arithmetic test, a mirror tracing test, and an anger recall test followed by a treadmill exercise test. During mental stress tasks and rest periods between tests, researchers conducted echocardiography to study changes in the heart, took blood samples, and measured blood pressure and heart rate. Researchers also found that women experienced a greater platelet aggregation, the precursor to the formation of blood clots, than men.
“The women compared with men also expressed a greater increase in negative emotions and a greater decrease in positive emotions during the mental stress tests,” Samad informed.