Women are narrowing the heart attack gap with men.

The heart attack gap between men and women is narrowing in good and bad ways for women. Two new studies show that the number of heart attacks is rising among middle-aged women and falling among men, but the risk of death after a heart attack is improving more for women than for men. Middle-aged men have historically had a higher prevalence of heart attack and advanced heart disease than women of the same age, but researchers say the findings suggest the risk is increasing among women and decreasing in men. “Cardiovascular illnesses have been long neglected in their role as the primary cause of mortality in women, both by patients and physicians,” write Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, MD, and Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, MD, PhD, of Charité Universitaetsmedizin, Berlin, in an editorial that accompanies the studies in the Archives of Internal Medicine. “As these studies show, increased and continuous vigorous attention to the prevention of cardiovascular risk factors — by healthy diet, regular physical activity, and avoidance of smoke and smoking — is necessary for both men and women,” they write. – From WebMD