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Study Finds Women Receive Less Aggressive Care for Heart Disease

A study led by Dr. Lisa M. Shwartz of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, VT has found that doctors are less likely to prescribe potentially life-saving diagnostic procedures for women than men. The study of over 650 heart attack victims found that women appear to fare worse after heart attacks then men because of the lack of adequate treatment. Though the study could not isolate gender bias as the cause, it could find no other reason why women were 32 percent less likely than men to be given follow-up diagnostic tests and procedures. Doctors were also far less likely to prescribe women an aspirin-a-day for angina (a crushing chest pain), although women were more likely to report the problem. Aspirin can reduce the risk of heart attack among people with angina by almost one-third. The study will be published in the July 28th issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine.

Sources:

MSNBC Online - July 28, 1997

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