More than 15,000 young women die from heart disease each year in the United States alone. Still young women are less likely to be informed of their cardiovascular risk by their health care providers, finds a new study published in theáJournal of The American College of Cardiology.
Prior study showed that women's heart disease risk is underestimated by health care providers. This suggests that doctors are assessing risk in women according to objective appearance rather than valid risk factors.
‘Young women are less likely to be informed of their cardiovascular risk by their health care providers.’
To better understand this bias, scientists recruited a total of 3,501 patients who had been hospitalized with AMI in either the United States or Spain. In the study, Variation in Recovery: Role of Gender on Outcomes of Young AMI Patients, researchers gathered patients'ábaseline data.
They analyzed sociodemographic factors, including age, sex, self-identified race, and education, as well as "access-to-care factors," such as lack of insurance and having a primary care physician.
The results showed that nearly all women and men had at least one of five potential risk factors: diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, and smoking status. á
Nearly two-thirds of patients had three or more risk factors. And compared to Spain, these factors were more prevalent in U.S. patients.
Most significantly, scientists found that women were 11% less likely than men to report being told they were at risk for heart disease and 16% less likely than men to report having a doctor discuss heart disease and ways to modify risk.