Exercise Affects Men's, Women's Hearts Differently?
Finding might have implications for standard cardiac testing, experts say
However, Steinbaum thinks it will take more research before a new formula that takes sex differences into account could become standard practice. Still, women might want to try the proposed formula on their own, she said. "It's worth considering implementing these new guidelines in their exercise routine," she said.
While the study did not look at the reasons for the gender differences, the researchers speculate that hormones, particularly the male hormone testosterone, are involved.
Also, when the current formula was developed, medical studies recruited few women, Allison said.
"It's logical that an equation developed 40 years ago based on a group that was predominantly men might not be accurate when applied to women today," he said.
Dr. Kevin Marzo, chief of cardiology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., said the original formula stems from research in the early 1970s.
"Once again we learn that men and women are very different and our medical research and treatments need to be gender- specific," he said.
Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.