Heart disease is the UK's biggest killer, still, but a new type of scan has identified vital differences in risk factors for men and women. Both are at risk of blockages and coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to fatal heart attacks.
But research from the US found women with extensive coronary artery plaque are at greater risk than men for a heart attack or other 'major cardiac event'. Meanwhile the presence of a type of non-calcified arterial plaque increased cardiac event risk for men.
Heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women in the US and the UK.
Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina used a non-invasive test to analyse the results of coronary CTA on 480 patients, to determine the number of vessel segments with plaque, the severity of the blockage and the composition of the plaque.
"The latest CT scanners are able to produce images that allow us to determine whether the plaque is calcified, non-calcified or mixed," said John W. Nance Jr., M.D.
It is hoped the results can lead to more research to understand better risk of heart attack, to help better predict and treat heart disease.