But while men remain more likely than women to suffer an attack, incidents among women are on the rise.
High blood pressure was associated with a more than 80 per cent higher risk of heart attack in women than in men, while Type I diabetes was associated with an nearly three times higher risk in women, and Type II diabetes a 47 per cent higher risk.
The researchers explained that women may be more susceptible to heart attack because of the way the female body stores fat.
The researchers, writing in the British Medical Journal, said that despite the increased risks women receive worse care.
Women who smoke or have diabetes are at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases as against their male counterpart, a study has found.
The researchers also investigated whether age affected the risk of heart attack, finding that additional excess risk experienced by women also persisted with ageing. But, the risk for women still was higher than with men.
The researchers say they do not know why these factors are sex-specific, and no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, but they do have some theories.
Dr Elizabeth Millett, lead study author and an epidemiologist at the George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, said: "Heart disease also affects women and this needs to be recognised".
Participants had no history of cardiovascular disease at the start of the study, and were followed for an average of seven years.
The study shows that heart attack risk associated with high blood pressure is 83 percent higher for women than men; with smoking, 55 percent higher, and with Type II diabetes, 47 percent higher.
Women with type 2 diabetes, for example, are 96 per cent more likely to have a heart attack than women without.