February is heart health month and is purpose is to bring awareness to the public. Having a heart health month is extremely important for women because 1 in 2 women will die of heart disease. Heart disease will impact women more than all cancers combined. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women and most women are not aware of it.
Fortunately, with the increased awareness and women learning more about their heart health, and doctors and researchers creating studies that include women, a positive difference has been made in the quality in health care of women. A wonderful example of a heart health study showing positive treatments for women comes from University of Rochester Medical Center, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This study revealed that a cardiac resynchronization therapy known as MADIT-CRT was twice as effective in women than in men. Women had a 70 percent reduction in heart failure as compared to their male counterparts who had a 35 percent reduction. To be clear, a 35 percent reduction in cardiac failure is wonderful, so a 70 percent reduction is excellent. This therapy, which is a combination pacemaker and defibrillator device, reduced both cardiac failure and death significantly in the patients that used it. This therapy works better in smaller hearts and therefore is more effective in women than men. One of the lead researchers conceded that until recently women have often been overlooked in heart-related studies, which makes this an event a more significant study for women and cardiac health.
For women with heart disease it is excellent to find treatments that are specifically effective for our bodies. The more awareness we can share with women about how to identify and successfully treat heart disease, the healthier women will become and we can begin to reduce the statistic that shows 50 percent of women will die from heart disease. This study is a great example that there are differences in the way men and women need to be treated with respect to the same condition.