Sex differences in systems and diseases are prevalent across every health field--and there is new research that indicates coronary treatment differs for men and women. A new study of insurance revealed that women get fewer aggressive treatments after a heart attack than men. Indeed, the study conducted by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association found that women are 27% less likely than men to get angioplasties and are 38% less likely to undergo coronary bypass surgery! Dr. Marla Mendelson, medical director for women's cardiovascular health at Northwestern compares these findings to her earlier research on gender differences in coronary car and says, "We've not come a long way." Since 1984 more women than men have died each year from heart disease, and it is the number 1 killer of women in the United States--so why is there such a gender gap in diagnosing and treating coronary conditions?
While women were historically neglected from clinical trials, it seems that since 2000 there has been a steady improvement in cardiovascular disease mortality rates for women--primarily from improved preventative care. Foundations such as "Go Red for Women" help raise awareness about women's risk of heart disease, but even then, only 54% of women recognize that heart disease is their leading cause of death (according to the CDC). Dr. Mendelson lauds Blue Cross for this research and indicates it's an important step for insurance companies to take.
Source: The Chicago Tribune