AUSTIN, Texas — A new study by the American Heart Association shows that nearly as many women as men suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease.
But when it comes to diagnosing symptoms and getting treatment, an American Journal of Medicine study found that women were less likely to receive care based on the established guidelines for heart attack – and were more likely to die from the condition – than men.
Researchers have found that heart disease in women often looks different than in men. For instance, diagnosing a heart attack in women requires more sensitive blood testing and arterial plaque appears different in women than in men.
“The problem is to convince both the lay and the medical sectors that coronary heart disease is also a woman’s disease, not a man’s disease in disguise,” Dr. Bernadine Healy, then director of the National Institutes of Health, wrote in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.
The American Heart Association says 60 million women and 61 million men have some form of heart disease. That’s roughly half of the U.S. adult population.
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