Study: Heart devices not thoroughly tested on women

March 1, 2011 2:48:13 PM PST
It's estimated that one-third of women in the U.S. have heart disease and some will need pacemakers and other devices to help keep them alive. But a new study questions whether these devices are being tested equally in men and women.

The report in the journal Circulation says, despite a directive by the Food and Drug Administration, many manufacturers are not studying these devices in enough women.

Researchers say differences in sizes and bleeding tendencies can affect the way these devices operate in men and women.

Side effects can also vary by gender.

Female patients should ask whether a device they are getting has been tested on women.