The Heart of Women

Is the heart of women different?

Coeurs des Femmes

Even when it is anatomically similar to that of a man, the feminine heart has finer arteries, which make surgical interventions more delicate.

Furthermore, the networks involved in the development of cardio-vascular diseases are not regulated in the identical way for a man and a woman (genetic sexual chromosome regulation, depending on sex or on hormones), and the muscular cells of a woman are also different, as it is testified by the works of Professor Margaret Buckingham on the reservoir of the precursor myocardial cells.

On the other hand, it is well known that the treatments which act as targets are differently expressed for men than that for women. Today, it is also very important to study the regulation of the way of expression of these targets under the influence of these different treatments, concerning either the feminine or masculine sex.

On the same level these determinants leading to cardio-vascular diseases have to be given priority, because a lot of screening aspects are often ignored because of disregard of women’s behaviour, especially concerning their fatigability, their nutritional behaviour, tobacco consumption or the stress. By today, it is well-known that there exists a relation between the stress and the emergence of cardio-vascular diseases.

And also, while the benefits of physical exercise for CV diseases have been well measured among men, what had been done for measuring it for women and what physical activity benefits are there for a woman’s heart ?

A lot of questions still remain pending. Sure, the woman’s heart is anatomically similar to the masculine one, but a woman’s body is by itself different from a man’s one.

It is today a great challenge to work on this difference and to install a specific and totally innovative research on a woman’s body in France. This is the great challenge for the Cardio-Vascular Research Foundation-Institut de France.