The Heart Of A Woman: What Doctors Don't Diagnose

November 14, 2011 9:36:11 AM PST
Is there such thing as medical sexism? New studies suggest women's heart issues are often ignored by doctors.

While heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S., statistics show they're not getting the care they need. In fact, when men have heart symptoms, 62 percent of doctors send them to a cardiologist for further testing...while less than half as many doctors refer female patients.

The term heart disease is used to describe a variety of diseases that can affect the heart including: diseases of blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, heart infections and heart defects a person is born with.

Furthermore, the term heart disease is also used interchangeably with the term cardiovascular disease which refers to conditions that involve narrowed or block blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke. Infections and conditions that affect the heart's muscle, valves and rhythm are also considered forms of heart disease. (SOURCE


  • Metabolic syndrome- a combination of fat around the abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides
  • Mental stress and depression
  • Smoking
  • Low levels of estrogen


  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Quit or do not smoke
  • Reduce intake of saturated fat, cholesterol and salt
  • Snack on nuts such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts- health benefits of nuts help to lower bad cholesterol
TREATMENT: Angioplasty and stenting, procedures used most commonly in men to flatten irregular plaques in arteries, is not recommended for women because the plaque build up is an even spread as opposed to bulky. Instead, drug treatment is suggested. Furthermore, clot-busting drugs are more effective in women. (SOURCE

--Ivanhoe Broadcast News

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