In comparison to men, inferior or less aggressive treatment is given to women with acute coronary syndrome∗ (ACS), states three large studies presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology.
The CREATE registry study of 20,468 patients in India revealed that relatively fewer women are admitted with ACS. Moreover, these women are older, reach hospital later, have more risk factors, receive inferior treatments and have worse outcomes.
While the BRIG project study of 3,168 patients in China concluded that a substantial portion of women with ACS did not receive proper treatment during hospitalization compared with men.
Similarly, a study of 4,229 ACS patients in the Middle East found that women tended to be admitted to hospital later than men and had more comorbid disease. These women received commonly used treatments less frequently than men, although in the case of the Middle East study this did not appear to impact in-patient mortality.
"These three studies paint a consistent picture around the world and all serve to demonstrate that women with ACS are unfortunately not receiving the same treatment as men," said Prof. Sidney C Smith Jr, MD, President, World Heart Federation. "This is something that has to be addressed as a matter of urgency."
Women and Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke, is the biggest killer of women globally causing 8.6 million deaths annually. Women in low- and middle-income countries who develop CVD are more likely to die from it than comparable women in industrialized nations.
However, women do not perceive CVD as the greatest threat to their health they still feel more threatened by cancer than they do by CVD. The good news is that there are steps women can take to protect their hearts. These include stopping smoking, engaging in physical exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and ensuring a healthy food intake.