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Afsana Momen, Zhaohui Gao, Abigail Cohen, Tamreen Khan, Urs A. Leuenberger and Lawrence I. Sinoway Coronary vasoconstrictor responses are attenuated in young women as compared with age-matched men The Journal of Physiology 588

Version of Record online: 14 OCT 2010 | DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.192492

In animals, activation of the sympathetic nervous system during exercise causes epicardial coronary artery constriction. This effect helps maintain blood supply to the vulnerable inner layer of cardiac muscle during exercise. In humans, epicardial coronary artery constriction also occurs during handgrip exercise. In this report, we show that epicardial coronary artery constriction that occurs during exercise is greater in men than in women. We speculate that this coronary constriction in men but not in women helps maintain blood flow throughout all layers of cardiac muscle. Our results help us better understand the gender-related differences in cardiac muscle ischaemia than are seen in men and women.

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