Private English Lessons for Professionals


製薬業界で 12 年以上キャリアを持つ Sharon 先生による医療コラムをお届けします。

特集:医療英語 > 第 5 回:Are There Differences Between Men and Women Suffering from Heart Diseases? (心臓病の性別要因)

Sharon BeltrandelRio 先生 Sharon BeltrandelRio 先生

12 年以上製薬業界の第一線で活躍する Sharon 先生が 2004 年 12 月より不定期でコラムを持つことになりました。最近の製薬業界の動きや医療に携わる日本人が英語を話す時に注意すべき点等、比較的自由に書いてもらおうと思っております。書いて欲しい記事などございましたらレッスン中に Sharon 先生にお伝え頂くか までご連絡ください。

Heart diseases are diseases that affect the heart such as heart attacks, heart failure and arrhythmia. They are the second leading cause of death in Japan. The incidence of heart diseases in both men and women is escalating around the world due to an increase in fat and cholesterol intake, lack of exercise, smoking and longer life spans.

Physically men's and women's hearts are the same. But studies show that when suffering from heart diseases variations emerge. For example, when suffering from a heart attack, although both men and women may present 'classic' chest pain (pain that begins in the chest and spreads to the shoulders, neck and arms), women seem to have a greater tendency than men to suffer from atypical chest pain, abdominal pain, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), nausea and fatigue. In addition, women tend to have heart attacks later in life compared to men and a woman's first heart attack is more likely to be fatal than a man's first heart attack.

Interestingly, a study presented at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum suggests different things may trigger sudden cardiac arrest in men and women. The study showed that in women psychosocial (emotional) stress may be a more common trigger for sudden cardiac arrest than physical exertion. Physical exertion is a more common trigger in men. In a study of 122 men and women who had suffered from cardiac arrest, forty percent of the women said they had experienced psychosocial stress caused by things such as divorce, death of a loved one or family conflicts, and only five percent reported physical exertion prior to their cardiac arrest. In contract, forty percent of the men reported physical stress and sixteen percent reported psychosocial stress prior to their cardiac arrest. The study's authors believe that while physical exertion may cause an increased level of adrenaline (a stress hormone that can cause rapid heart beats) in men, emotional stress may cause an increased level of adrenaline in women.

More research is needed to further clarify the potential differences between men and women suffering from heart diseases. Of course, another important goal is to stop heart diseases before they start. By eating a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly and reducing stress both men and women can prevent heart diseases.

Discussion questions

  1. Please summarize the article. What is the main point of the article?
  2. Why is the incidence of heart diseases increasing around the world?
  3. Are men's and women's hearts the same?
  4. What are typical symptoms of a heart attack? What are atypical symptoms? Do men or women tend to present with atypical symptoms?
  5. Is it possible that different things trigger sudden cardiac arrest in men and women?
  6. What is psychosocial stress? How may it be related to sudden cardiac arrest?
  7. How can heart diseases be prevented?


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