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One-fifth of elderly women have cardiovascular disease

One in five women in the UK aged 60 to 79 has cardiovascular disease, latest figures from a major Government-funded study show. The British Women's Heart and Health study of 4,286 young elderly women found 22 per cent were diagnosed with myocardial infarction, angina, heart failure, stroke or peripheral vascular disease. Almost half were hypertensive, 27 per cent were obese and 12 per cent were current smokers.

Some 90 per cent of those with cardiovascular disease had an LDL-cholesterol level of 5mmol/l or more. Only 22 per cent of these women were on a statin.

Authors said the study ­ in February's Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health ­ showed the need for better management of risk factors and secondary prevention was greater than first thought.

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