SEP 11, 2018 12:00 PM PDT

How Feminism is Improving Detection Technology in Cardiovascular Medicine

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Surprisingly, since 1984 more women are dying in the US from heart disease (HD) than men. With medical advances, the mortality rate for men suffering from HD has been steadily decreasing, yet for woman, fatalities have actually been increasing. This suggests that the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that medicine has worked to perfect overtime are useful in men but ineffective in woman. Dr. Bernadine Healy in the 1980s wrote an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) questioning if woman’s HD symptoms were presenting differently than men’s, causing woman to be regularly misdiagnosed. Dr. Healy went on to become the first female director of the NIH, the largest biomedical enterprise in the world. There she started the women’s health initiative providing funding to study health issues in woman. Some of the funding from Dr. Healy‘s health initiative for women went to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute allowing them to conduct the WISE study. WISE stood for Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation and was a study designed specifically to attempt to address the questions Dr. Healy had first posed in the NEJM: Are woman with heart disease going undiagnosed because of a difference in presenting symptoms? Here Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz discusses the WISE study findings.

 

Sources: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
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