Women are at a greater risk of heart attack than men if they smoke, a study suggests.
The researchers found that women who are heavy smokers had twice the risk of a heart attack as men who smoke similar numbers of cigarettes.
In addition, women with high blood pressure were nearly twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than men with the same condition.
The research, led by Oxford University, also suggested that females with type 2 diabetes were at a greater risk of heart attack than men.
Overall, men are more likely to suffer a heart attack than women, while the average age of first attacks among males is younger than females.
But the authors said that although the risk of heart attack is about three times higher in men than women, women tend to “catch up” if they have certain cardiovascular risk factors.
“These findings also highlight the importance of equitable access to guideline based treatments for diabetes and hypertension, and to weight loss and smoking cessation programmes for women and men in middle and older age,” the researchers said.