A team of researchers has identified a gene that seems to increase the risk of heart diseases in women but not in men. A study conducted by researchers at the University College London showed that women who possessed a specific version of BCAR1 gene were at a greater risk of suffering from heart attack and stroke. But, men with the same gene did not show the same results.
The research team says its study shows how there might be differences in the way men and women experience heart diseases.
During the study, the researchers looked at the data for 4,000 men and women and compared their genes and the health of their arteries and blood vessels. The analysis revealed a gene that increased the risk of diseased blood vessels, heart attack and stroke specifically in women.
Although more research is needed to fully understand the nature of the gene, the researchers believe that the risk of heart disease is increased when this gene combines with estrogen in the body of women.
"We've known for a long time that risk factors for heart disease are different for men and women. This gene effect seen only in women, could be contributing to this difference, although we expect there are a lot of other factors at play,” said study lead author Freya Boardman-Pretty, in an interview with the BBC.
The author further says that if the team is able to confirm the involvement of the gene and how it increases the chances of heart diseases in women, it could potentially become a new target for drugs in the future.