Delayed Diagnosis, Not Gender Affects Women’s Treatment for Heart Disease

Study debunks conventional wisdom pointing to gender bias in heart surgery

CHICAGO, September 28, 2017 - Women with heart disease typically receive less complete surgical revascularization with arterial grafts than men do, but not because of gender bias. Instead, factors such as delayed diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) in women may contribute to the differences in treatment, according to a new study published online today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Key points

  • Gender bias is not the reason why women and men receive different treatments for of heart disease.
  • Delayed diagnosis, possibly due to current testing strategies, causes women to seek treatment when they are older and are experiencing other health problems.
  • Newer diagnostic tests may allow doctors to better diagnose heart disease in women at an earlier stage.

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