Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Women Suffer Angina More Often than Men


In recent years more emphasis has been placed on women's heart health and the realization that not just men suffer from heart disease. Men still have more heart attacks than women, but a new study shows that women suffer from stable angina more often than men.

Stable angina is pressure, pain and discomfort in the chest that is caused by a lack of oxygen to the heart muscles caused by insufficient blood flow. Stable angina can be treated with medication and usually gets better with rest.

In a study covering 31 countries, it was found that women have a 20% higher prevalence of angina than men. Because women suffer heart attack less often than men, doctors have long assumed that the same holds true for other forms of coronary heart disease. The study suggests that women might be undertreated when it comes to angina.

"This is something we've always believed -- that there was an excess of angina symptoms in women," said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of the Women's Health Program at New York University Medical Center.

Angina used to be considered a benign symptom in women, added Goldberg, who's the author of Dr. Nieca Goldberg's Complete Guide to Women's Health. "Maybe that's the thing that sent us on the wrong pathway that women didn't have heart disease," she said.

"Just because women don't have as many heart attacks as men, we have to recognize that angina is something that's limiting women from having a good quality of life," she said.


Source - US News & World Report

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