Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Advances in cardiovascular care not reaching diabetic women?

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed some alarming statistics regarding mortality rates for diabetic women vs other segments of the population. A report of these results in the Chicago Tribune zeroes in on the statistics for death rates due to heart disease.

While overall mortality rates and death rates due to heart disease declined over the past three decades for men, women, and diabetic men, the percentages for diabetic women seem to have jumped pretty dramatically.

A quote from the Tribune article: "This study adds to the evidence that there is a gender gap in health care ... and it has a bottom-line impact on mortality," said Sherry Marts of the Society for Women's Health Research.

Here's a link via The Seattle Times website:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=women19&date=20070619

Are women with diabetes less likely to get appropriate treatments for heart disease, as an accompanying editorial suggests? What factors are at work here? Is this a legacy of the absence of female subjects in research of decades past, leaving physicians lacking in appropriate dosing and other treatments for female patients? Are there socio-economic elements to this negative trend?

2 comments:

laane said...

... or are doctors not aware that complaints of tiredness can be a signal of cardiovascular problems too?

Cardiovaculair problems in women present different than in men, and are treated later and so have a higher risc to be fatal.

donald_r_schmitz said...

SWHR Online Moderated Discussion: “Women and Heart Disease: The Role of Cholesterol”

Friday, February 15, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. ET

Nanette Wenger, M.D., a professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine and chief of Cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, will answer questions about women and heart disease with a focus on the role of cholesterol in heart disease and current cholesterol screening guidelines. February is American Heart Month. Wenger is board chair of the Society for Women’s Health Research, which conducted a survey last summer that indicates a disconnect between women understanding the risks associated with high cholesterol and taking action to monitor and control it.

Go here to ask your questions: http://live.womenshealthresearch.org/