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Women Less Likely to Receive Treatment for Heart Attacks

Women who have had heart attacks lag behind their male counterparts when it comes to receiving treatment, according to a recent report.


In its 2011 “Women's Health in American Hospitals” report, released May 3, physician and hospital ratings group HealthGrades found significant gender disparities in cardiovascular care. Approximately one-third of female heart attack patients receive lifesaving surgical interventions, the report said, compared to one-half of male patients. Among all heart attack patients receiving interventions, women die at a 30 percent higher rate than men.


The report based its findings on an analysis of the hospital records of about 5 million Medicare patients between 2007 and 2009, measuring complications and mortality rates across 16 of the most common cardiovascular diagnoses and treatments.


Lack of awareness among women may contribute to the discrepancy in health outcomes, according to Mary Ann Bauman, MD, spokeswoman for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women initiative and medical director for women's health and community relations at Integris Health in Oklahoma City.


“Only 54 percent of women understand that heart disease is the number one cause of death in women,” Bauman told The Nation's Health. “Women need to identify this as a disease that can happen to them.”


Read the full report here:

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