Health Tip – Oct. 22 – Women and Heart Disease: A Shocking Update
A newly published review reveals that even though more women die of heart disease than men, not enough women understand and appreciate their risks. The analysis also confirms that doctors still aren’t treating women with known heart problems as aggressively as they do men.
The reviewers, from Ohio State University, note that coronary artery disease is responsible for more deaths among women than breast cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and accidents combined. Despite those grim statistics, women are still less likely to receive preventive treatments that are routinely recommended for men (such as drugs to lower cholesterol, aspirin to help prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attacks, and lifestyle advice to lower risks. Heart attacks in women may not cause the crushing chest pain men report.
The review observes that CT scans and other imaging techniques used to evaluate cardiac problems reveal that women generally have narrower coronary arteries than men, their symptoms are more likely to be due to blockages of smaller blood vessels, which might be missed. The reviewers also report that after heart attacks, women are 55 percent less likely to participate in cardiac rehabilitation than men are.