Asibe Özkan1, Esra Karagöz2

1Department of Women’s Health and Diseases Nursing, University of Health Sciences, Hamidiye Faculty of Nursing, İstanbul, Türkiye
2Department of Fundamental of Nursing, İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Institute of Graduate Studies, İstanbul, Türkiye

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; menopause; risk assessment; women’s health


Introduction: Identification and control of cardiovascular risk factors form the basis of strategies for protecting cardiovascular health. However, according to the results of many studies, women are less aware of their own risk factors and participate less in screening programs than men. This study was conducted to determine the risk of experiencing atherosclerotic events and risk-related factors in women aged 40-79 years.

Patients and Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional analysis was conducted by the primary physician of the laboratory values used in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk assessment, who applied to the consultant outpatient clinics (pulmonary diseases, infectious diseases, nephrology, internal medicine outpatient clinics) in a training and research hospital between September and November 2021. The data of 131 female patients between the ages of 40-79 were analyzed.

Results: The average age of the 131 women included in the study was 51.6 years. It was observed that women predominantly had three or four risk factors. The five most common risk factors identified were as follows: a total cholesterol level above 170 mg/dL (86.3%), menopause (65.6%), HDL cholesterol below 50 mg/dL (64.1%), systolic blood pressure above 130 mmHg (56.4%), and smoking (32.1%). In the study, when investigating the relationship between the ASVCD risk calculator, atherosclerosis risk factors, and the menopausal period, statistically significant associations were observed between age, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, 10-year risk ratio, optimal risk ratio, and lifetime risk ratio.

Conclusion: The study determined that the average lifelong expected ASCVD risk among the women participating in the study, in terms of cardiovascular diseases, was 39.87 ± 8.81%. This finding highlights the significance of cardiovascular diseases and underscores the importance of conducting comprehensive risk assessments at the individual level to prevent them.

Cite this article as: Özkan A, Karagöz E. The relationship between atherosclerotic risk factors and female gender. Koşuyolu Heart J 2023;26(2):48-54.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study was approved by Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital Clinical Research Ethics Committee (Decision no: 249, Date: 27.07.2020).

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept/Design - AÖ; Analysis/Interpretation - AÖ, EK; Data Collection - AÖ, EK; Writing - AÖ, EK; Critical Revision - AÖ, EK; Final Approval - AÖ, EK; Statistical Analysis -AÖ, EK; Overall Responsibility - AÖ.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declare that this study has received no financial support.