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Heart attack care dangerously unequal for women, study finds

From BBC - January 5, 2018

Fewer women who suffer a heart attack would die if they were given the same treatments as men, a new study found.

Researchers analysed the outcomes of 180,368 Swedish patients who suffered a heart attack over a 10-year period.

They found women were three times more likely to die than men in the year after having a heart attack.

The British Heart Foundation said: "Heart attacks are often seen as a male health issue, but more women die from heart disease than breast cancer."

Researchers at the University of Leeds and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analysed data from Sweden's online cardiac registry.

They found women were on average less likely than men to receive the recommended treatments after a heart attack.

Prof Chris Gale, of the University of Leeds, who co-authored the study, said this is because: "There's misconception amongst the general public and healthcare professionals about what heart attack patients are like.

"Typically, when we think of a heart attack patient, we see a middle-aged man who is overweight, has diabetes and smokes.

"This is not always the case; heart attacks affect the wider spectrum of the population - including women."

Gender differences

In one specific heart condition, women were 34% less likely to receive procedures which clear blocked arteries, such as bypass surgery and stents.

They were also 24% less likely to be prescribed statin medication, which helps to prevent a second heart attack, and 16% less likely to be given aspirin, which helps to prevent blood clots.

'Women are dying'

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