Women with chronic heart failure survive longer than men, according to a large analysis of health studies involving more than 40,000 people.
The three-year assessment, published in the European Journal of Heart Failure, is the largest analysis of gender and mortality risk in heart failure.
To reach their conclusions, researchers analyzed the findings from 31 studies involving 28,052 men and 13,897 women with chronic heart failure. The studies showed that 25.3 percent of the women and 25.7 percent of the men died during the three years of the study.
The results showed that men had a 31 percent higher risk of death than women. Researchers also found women with chronic heart failure are on average older than men, are more likely to have a history of hypertension and diabetes, but that their heart failure is less likely to be caused by heart failure resulting from reduced blood supply.
Women were also prescribed fewer recommended treatments for heart failure than men, the studies showed.
"This study has clearly demonstrated that survival is better for women with heart failure than for men, irrespective of … other variables," said lead researcher Dr. Manuel Martinez-Selles from the Gregorio Maran?o?n University Hospital in Madrid.
"The female heart appears to respond to injury differently from the male heart…. Some of these advantages could be related to pregnancy and to sex-specific differences in gene expression."
Heart failure results when the heart fails to pump sufficient blood to meet the body's demands.