Approximately every 80 seconds, heart disease or stroke claims the life of a woman in the US. As the leading cause of death among women, it’s crucial that the risks, symptoms, and treatments for heart disease be understood by doctors, patients and loved ones alike.
And yet, women make up less than a quarter of participants in heart-related studies. With 90% of women exhibiting one or more risk factors for developing heart disease or suffering a debilitating stroke, we have to wonder why there is such a discrepancy between the need for research and the lack of dedicated research to this topic.
We’re not the only ones wondering. In a poll of 2,018 doctors on SERMO, 2/3 said there are not enough clinical trials for women for heart related drugs.
As one SERMO doctor put it, “We really need to rethink a lot of the therapies we have applied to women based on ‘man-studies’ regarding heart disease.”
While research catches up with clinical trials geared towards women, the American Heart Association says it’s smart to keep in mind the healthy behavioral and lifestyle changes that women can implement now to help reduce their risks, like getting their blood pressure/cholesterol/glucose checked, quitting smoking, losing weight, and eating healthy.
We hope physicians will join SERMO and the AHA in helping raise awareness about heart disease and stroke this month. Doctors, you can help by advising your patients to schedule well visits where they can learn about their health status and risk for diseases. Encouraging your patients to make healthy changes can save lives. If your patients have cardiovascular disease or are a caregivers for someone who does, send them to the AHA Patient Support network for support and information on the condition.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women – killing more women each year than all cancers combined. With 44 million women in the US affected by cardiovascular disease, it’s never been more important to take action to fund proper research and spread awareness for prevention.
Join the discussion about how to approach patients about making healthier choices at https://app.sermo.com/posts/posts/299111.
And learn more about women and heart disease and stroke at www.heart.org/supportnetwork