This site is intended for health professionals only

Genetic link to gender difference in MS, exercise the key for women over 30 and why you really can be ‘nagged to death’

Researchers say they have found a protein that may help explain why women are much more susceptible to multiple sclerosis (MS) than men, the BBC reports this morning.

The team found higher levels of a protein dubbed S1PR2 in tests on the brains of female mice and dead women with MS than in male equivalents.

The scientists suggested S1PR2 – a blood vessel receptor protein – could make the blood-brain barrier more permeable to nerve-damaging cells enabling them to attack the central nervous system.

Elsewhere, the papers warn women over 30 are most at risk from dying from heart disease because they do not take enough exercise.

Research from Australia found being inactive was the major factor contributing to cardiovascular deaths in this group, above smoking and other risk factors, The Telegraph reports.

Authors of the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, said this was down to women tending to give up smoking when they start a family and become less active – and called for a national programme to promote and maintain exercise levels in women.

Lead cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Thembi Nkala, warned women should not neglect other risk factors though.

She said: ‘It’s important to remember that heart disease is linked to other factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It’s essential to manage these too, as the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of heart disease.’

Finally, researchers have evidence you really can be nagged to death, according to the Daily Mail.

A Danish study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, showed that that ‘excessive demands’ from partners, family or those living nearby can more than double the risk of death in middle-age, the paper says.

Lead author Dr Rikke Lund said it was likely down to stress causing heart disease.

Dr Lund said: ‘Previous research seem to say it is stress on your cardiovascular system which is associated with increase in blood pressure which is associated with heart disease.’