Women :: Women at higher risk of heart diseases

A woman’s risk of dying after a heart attack or stroke is higher than a man’s, according to Report Cards on Health – 2007 Report on Canadians’ Health by The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

When it comes to heart disease and stroke, Canadian women?s progress has not kept pace with men?s, according to the 2007 Heart and Stroke Foundation Annual Report on Canadians? Health. Research shows that, compared to a man, a woman?s risk of dying following a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke is higher, women are less likely to be treated by a specialist, are less likely to be transferred to another facility for treatment, and less likely to undergo cardiac catheterization or revascularization.

?It?s a real concern that women?s heart health has not kept pace with men?s,? says Dr. Beth Abramson, cardiologist and spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. ?There has been some progress in closing the gender gap, but when it comes to Canada?s leading cause of death, there are women who may be under-served on the front lines compared to men.?

For years, it was assumed that care differences occurred because women tended to be older and sicker at the point they were hospitalized. But recent analysis shows that even when you control for age and other health conditions, a women?s risk of dying within the first 30 days is 16% higher for heart attack, and 11% higher for stroke, than a man?s. The reasons for this are unclear – contributing factors may be systemic, social, and biological ? but answers need to be found.

Further, the Heart and Stroke Foundation reveals that for the first time in 30 years, women have caught up to men when it comes to the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease.


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