Younger women are less likely to be screened for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and treated with preventive medicine than men, a recent study found.
Younger women are less likely to be screened for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and treated with preventive medicine than men, a recent study found. The report underscores a gender gap when it comes to appropriate heart health interventions.
The study focused on over 53,000 men and women patients at primary health care services across Australia. Researchers discovered that younger women at high risk of CVD were 37% less likely to be treated with appropriate preventive medication such as statins and antiplatelets, than men. However, older women were 34% more likely than older men to be prescribed appropriate medication.
Men were also significantly more likely to have their heart disease risk factors measured.
CVD is the leading cause of death in Australia, United States, and United Kingdom. The study’s results indicate a gender disparity in cardiovascular disease prevention and care, but also suggest that CVD prevention could be improved overall. Only 43.4% of all patients had their necessary risk factors recorded, and only 47.5% of patients at high risk of CVD received preventive medicines.
The researchers concluded that gender gaps in heart disease care need to be addressed and remedied, and that health care professionals should properly screen and treat patients at high risk of CVD.
The study was published in Heart and contained research from The George Institute for Global Health and The University of Sydney.
Hyun KK, Redfern J, Patel A, et al. Gender inequalities in cardiovascular risk assessment and management in primary healthcare. Heart. 2017; heartjnl-2016-310216. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2016-310216