A group of researchers found that female heart disease patients face higher mortality risk after repeated heart attacks because they tend to get lesser care as doctors usually perceive heart disease as a male-only problem.
Study authors warn that women tend to die earlier after a heart attack because doctors are not prescribing medication or stents to keep arteries unblocked after a major cardiac event.
- In the U.K., 28,000 women and 42,000 men are killed by heart disease every year.
- Most deaths are caused by a heart attack.
The new analysis tracked 180,000 heart disease patients for more than a decade and found that women were three times more likely to die from a heart attack in the first year than their male counterparts.
Researchers believe the major cause is doctors’ inaction. Medics tend not to prescribe life-saving drugs or treatments to women because they believe heart disease is something that can be serious enough to kill only in men. In other words, women are not considered a high-risk group.
We need to work harder to shift the perception that heart attacks only affect a certain type of person,
noted one researcher at the University of Leeds.
Female Heart Disease Patients Not Given Life-Saving Treatment
Researchers underlined that doctors perceive the typical patient who has had a heart attack as a middle-aged male who failed to take good care of himself and had been diagnosed with diabetes, is overweight, and probably smokes.
Nevertheless, women have deadly heart attacks too. Doctors, though, fail to give them the recommended treatments after such an event.
The study also shows that women whose heart attack blocked completely their coronary artery were 34% less likely to be prescribed a life-saving stent or bypass surgery than men.
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