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Women and Cardiovascular Disease: Gender-Based Issues Regarding Detection and Primary Prevention

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2014.620318    2,576 Downloads   3,626 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Society has come a long way over the past several decades from the old fashion belief that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a man’s disease. Throughout the years, gender-based studies have provided compelling evidence to uncover several unique features in disease presentation, pathology and primary prevention in women. Studies reviewing differences among men and women have placed specific emphasis on cardiovascular risk factors, symptoms and vascular pathology as potential etiologies for the higher cardiovascular mortality and disability among women. In addition, although weight loss and exercise have been shown to promote cardiovascular health in men, more recently findings have presented data to support the importance of these interventions among women. Although tremendous strides have been made throughout the years in the gender-based cardiovascular research, more questions than answers remain and additional research efforts are still needed to better understand the disease process in women. The objectives of this review are two-fold: First, to present a comparative analysis focusing on evidence-based similarities and differences among males and females in cardiovascular disease presentation, detection and clinical pathology; Second, to offer insights highlighting recent findings regarding primary prevention and treatment protocols in women. Based on our current knowledge, continued efforts geared toward optimal diagnostic testing and screening protocols for primary disease detection and risk factor modification programs are recommended. This would include further investigations of the potential role that genetics and/or environment play/plays in the natural progression of the disease process. Additionally, comprehensive lifestyle interventions aimed at reducing cardiovascular disability and mortality in women is also recommended.

Cite this paper

Chesler, R. , Ho, D. and Ramkissoon, K. (2014) Women and Cardiovascular Disease: Gender-Based Issues Regarding Detection and Primary Prevention. Health, 6, 2790-2801. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.620318.

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