More women are killed each year by coronary artery disease (CAD) than men but are receiving fewer preventative recommendations, according to a new paper.
Cardiovascular disease is the UK's biggest killer
American researchers identified the risk of CAD in women and analysed the treatment and strategies available to them. The paper was published in Global Heart and found that the treatment and recommendations for women are different due to pregnancy and autoimmune diseases.
The study believes that the impact of CAD on women is unrecognised due to the higher rates of CAD in younger men. Despite this there is at least the same number of women dying from CAD as there our men but most are neglected and not offered the same advice as men in the same risk bracket.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) estimates that 3.3 million women in the UK live with heart and circulatory disease.
However it is thought by the paper and leading heart experts that women do not get the same advice – such as cholesterol-lowering statins and lifestyle recommendations – as men.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the BHF, said: “Women with heart disease are underdiagnosed, undertreated and unaware that this condition can kill them.
“Coronary heart disease is largely preventable and so it’s unacceptable over 30,000 women die as a result of coronary heart disease each year in the UK. We need more female-focused research into the diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease so we can set about reducing the number of women we’re losing to the UK’s single biggest killer.
“For now, if you’re a woman you need to try and look after your heart. That means keeping an eye on your weight, stopping smoking, plenty of physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet.”
"Women are affected by CAD in large numbers and to a large degree," the researchers from America say.
"CAD is the leading cause of mortality in women. The manifestation of CAD has unique characteristics in women. Increasing data demonstrate that some treatment strategies have sex-specific effectiveness."
Some health insurance policies can contain comprehensive heart cover if you are particularly concerned about CAD.
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