GP's are 'more attentive' to men in assessing heart disease risk when compared to women, which highlights the need to evaluate cardiovascular risk equally in both male and female patients.
General Practitioners (GP's) are less likely to check women for heart diseases when compared to men, said a new study.
‘GP's are ‘more attentive’ to men in assessing heart disease risk when compared to women, which highlights the need to evaluate cardiovascular risk equally in both male and female patients.
French researchers sent questionnaires to 52 general practitioners and also analyzed the history of about 2000 patients. They found that most male practitioners considered heart disease as a male problem and neglected women to assess cardiovascular disease risk.
Also, GP's failed to check for risk factors in women when compared to men. Assessment of risk factors is the primary step to determine heart disease risk. But most GP's don't assess women for heart disease risk.
The study also found that female GP's paid attention to both men and women equally in heart risk assessment. They were less likely to vary their practice, especially according to their patients' gender.
"GPs were less likely to collect information on smoking, blood glucose, and cholesterol in female patients, making it impossible to assess their cardiovascular risk. Guidelines recommend screening for cardiovascular risk factors in men and women, but it appears that GPs are more attentive to these factors in their female patients," said lead author Dr. Raphaëlle Delpech, herself a GP at the University of Paris-Sud.
She added: "I think most GPs will be surprised by our findings, and I hope this will help them ensure they assess cardiovascular risk equally in their male and female patients. A government media campaign aimed at physicians could help raise awareness and stimulate change. Another possibility would be introducing performance-related pay for GPs based on their assessment of patients' cardiovascular risk."