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Why Is Heart Disease the Leading Cause of Death Among Women?

By HERWriter
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Heart Disease: The Leading Cause of Death Among Women rocketclips/Fotolia

In a study published in Global Heart, Ohio State University researchers found that awareness of women’s risks of developing coronary artery disease have increased over the last 10 years, but men are still more aggressively treated at the first signs of cardiovascular disease.

Doctors are less likely to recommend that women begin preventive measures for CAD such as lowering cholesterol, making lifestyle changes or starting an aspirin regimen, as compared to treatment provided for men.

There are also gender differences when it comes to cardiovascular disease medications. Researchers have found drugs that are beneficial for men may be harmful to women. As a case in point, digoxin, which treats heart failure patients, was associated with an increased risk of death among women, but not men, stated the American Heart Association.

Turning the tide on cardiovascular disease, and its dangerous toll on women, will take an increased awareness of the problem — among both women and their doctors.

One way to start would be to teach about this problem in medical and nursing schools, as advised by NewMax.com. And cardiac screening must become a routine part of women’s primary care.

Reviewed February 17, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

"Cardiovascular Disease: Women’s No. 1 Health Threat." Heart.org. American Health Association. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

"Women & Cardiovascular Disease." My.ClevelandClinic.org. Cleveland Clinic. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

Tate, Nick. "Why Heart Disease Kills 5 Times More Women Than Breast Cancer." Newsmax. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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