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Study: Treatment for Women with Heart Disease is Inadequate

A study appearing in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine reports that women diagnosed with heart disease are receiving insufficient treatment, according to the Associated Press. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco evaluated 2,763 postmenopausal women with heart disease and noticed that only a fraction of women who should have been on medications such as beta blockers (to decrease heart rate), cholesterol-lowering drugs, or aspirin, actually took them. Dr. Michael Shlipak, study co-author and assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and biostatistics at the San Francisco Veteran Affairs Medical Center, told HealthScoutNews, “…Women at highest risk tend to be the frailest and least likely to receive preventative medication.”

The study listed several risk factors predictive of cardiac problems such as coronary heard disease (CHD) in women, including race (minority women showed two times the likelihood of CHD), treated diabetes, congestive heart failure, past attacks and angina, high blood pressure, high low-density/low high-density cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some risk factors displayed varying predictabilities in women versus men, said Shlipak. Still, he urged that all patients exhibiting high risk factors consult with their physicians, “A well -educated patient is great prevention,” reported HealthScoutNews

Sources:

HealthScoutNews 1/20/03; Associated Press 1/21/03