Public Release:  Women don't receive the same treatment as men for heart disease the world-over

3 new studies from India, China and Middle East expose the extent of the problem in new data presented at the World Congress of Cardiology

World Heart Federation

Dubai (20 April 2012): Women with acute coronary syndrome∗ (ACS) receive inferior or less aggressive treatment compared to men, according to three large studies presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology.

The CREATE registry study of 20,468 patients in India revealed that relatively fewer women are admitted with ACS. Moreover, these women are older, reach hospital later, have more risk factors, receive inferior treatments and have worse outcomes.

While the BRIG project study of 3,168 patients in China concluded that a substantial portion of women with ACS did not receive proper treatment during hospitalization compared with men.

Similarly, a study of 4,229 ACS patients in the Middle East found that women tended to be admitted to hospital later than men and had more comorbid disease. These women received commonly used treatments less frequently than men, although in the case of the Middle East study this did not appear to impact in-patient mortality.

"These three studies paint a consistent picture around the world and all serve to demonstrate that women with ACS are unfortunately not receiving the same treatment as men," said Prof. Sidney C Smith Jr, MD, President, World Heart Federation. "This is something that has to be addressed as a matter of urgency."

Women and Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke, is the biggest killer of women globally causing 8.6 million deaths annually. Women in low- and middle-income countries who develop CVD are more likely to die from it than comparable women in industrialized nations.

However, women do not perceive CVD as the greatest threat to their health they still feel more threatened by cancer than they do by CVD. The good news is that there are steps women can take to protect their hearts. These include stopping smoking, engaging in physical exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and ensuring a healthy food intake.

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Go Red for Women campaign

Go Red for Women is an international awareness campaign dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and control of CVD in women. The American Heart Association created the Go Red for Women campaign in 2004 to empower women with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their heart health. The World Heart Federation, together with more than 40 of its member organizations, has taken the campaign global to bring attention to the fact that CVD is the number one killer of women and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.

Working with members around the world, the World Heart Federation also urges women to know their numbers - have blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked regularly, as high levels can place them at greater risk. www.worldheart.org/grfw

About the World Congress of Cardiology

The World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Sessions (WCC) is the official congress of the World Heart Federation and is held every two years. Through the Congress the World Heart Federation offers an international stage for the latest developments in science and public outreach in the field of cardiovascular health. The WCC places emphasis on the complementary nature of science and public outreach and strives to spread the message that through individual, community and patient-care interventions, the growing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. For more information, please visit: www.worldcardiocongress.org; keep up with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #WCC2012Dubai

About the World Heart Federation

The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke with a focus on low- and middle-income countries via a united community of more than 200 member organizations. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle cardiovascular disease - the world's number one killer. It is a growing membership organization that brings together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives. For more information, please visit: www.worldheart.org; twitter.com/worldheartfed; facebook.com/worldheartfederation

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