Women With Heart Disease are Still Getting Unequal Treatment
Women with heart disease are dying faster than men. Women with heart disease are still getting unequal treatment. Researchers have found that although heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, women still get unequal treatment.
Swedish researchers did a study over a ten-year period. The findings were astonishing. After a woman has a heart attack, she is three times more likely to die after the first year than a man is.
Women With Heart Disease Are Dying Faster Than Men
According to the British Foundation, “Heart attacks are often seen as a male health issue, but more women die from heart disease than breast cancer.”
The data was collected from 180,000 women, and researchers at the University of Leeds and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed the data.
The co-author of the study stated that the misconceptions come from the fact that,“ There’s a misconception amongst the general public and healthcare professionals about what heart attack patients are like”.
Heart Disease Risk In Women
The assumptions is that heart attack victims are male, smokes have diabetes, and is overweight. This statement is true because, in the earlier years, only white men were routinely assessed for heart disease.
In fact, when women would go to the emergency room with heart symptoms, the doctors would say they were “anxious or had heartburn”.
The disparities were often seen when diagnostic tests were ordered. Women were 34% less likely to receive a procedure that would clear the arteries, such as coronary bypass and stents.
Medications were also more likely to be given to men than women. In fact, women were 24% less likely to be prescribed statins. Statins are a medication that reduces cholesterol.
Women were also less likely to be prescribed aspirin which helps prevent blood clots. Studies have shown that the treatment guidelines should be implemented in both genders.
When the guidelines were followed, the morbidity and the mortality of women was decreased.
Prof Gale stated, “ that from their very first point of contact with healthcare professionals, women are less likely to receive the same diagnostic tests, leading them to be 50% more likely to be initially misdiagnosed”.
Women are Dying Faster Than Men
Although this study was done in Sweden, researchers claim that the situation is worse for women in the United Kingdom because the treatments in the U.K. vary so much. Sweden is a leader in healthcare in Europe, with one of the lowest mortality rates from heart disease. However, in Sweden, we are still seeing disparities with women and heart disease.
Professor Jeremy Pearson stated, “ We urgently need to raise awareness of this issue as it’s something that can be easily changed.
By simply ensuring more women receive the recommended treatments, we’ll be able to help more families avoid the heartbreak of losing a loved one to heart disease”.
Women with heart disease are dying faster than men but this trend needs to be rectified, More money needs to be allocated for research.What
What Can Women Do to Advocate For Themselves
As women, we know when something is not right in our bodies. Therefore, when we go to our primary care doctors, we need to be assertive.
What are some things that we can do to advocate for ourselves?
- If we feel as if something is wrong with our hearts, we need to demand to see a cardiologist. The sense of intuition is powerful.
- Ask for an EKG. This is one of the simplest methods to possibly detect a heart problem.
- If you go to the emergency room with symptoms of chest pain or acid indigestion, don’t automatically accept the “anxiety” diagnosis. You should ask to be admitted for observation. You can make that request.
- Ladies make sure you check your blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for developing heart disease.
My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high cholesterol.
I received my Nursing degree from Baltimore Community College.
I went on to receive my Masters in Nursing from Walden University
I have worked for almost 30 years in Critical Care with a focus on heart health. I am an advocate of preventive healthcare.