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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Study calls attention to women’s cardiovascular health


Women with coronary artery disease reported a more challenging experience than their male counterparts, including access to attention, emotional factors and relations with their doctor.

By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Health authorities called attention Tuesday to a study recently released by the pharmaceutical company Abbott which analyzes why it is urgent to improve equality in health and better understand the cardiovascular health of women.


Cardiovascular diseases are the principal cause of death in the world with about 18 million deaths per year.


The World Health Organization said that more than three-fourths of the deaths caused by cardiovascular disease are in low- to middle-income countries.


The American Heart Association says that in Puerto Rico cardiac disease is the principal cause of death and has various risk conditions associated with it such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lifestyle factors that can be prevented or controlled.


The raising of awareness and the implementation of technology is necessary to combat cardiovascular disease.


It must be kept in mind that with the rapid aging of the population and the increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and its associated risk factors, the cost of health care will continue to rise in the coming years, study said.


The global multiannual investigation by Abbot reported in its first years of the study in 2020, that the majority of health professionals interviewed said making opportune decisions, in diagnosis or treatment, has the greatest impact on people.


Added to that are the advanced technologies that allow for the more precise diagnostics and treatment to improve vascular health with the number one priority of medical attention leaders: the satisfaction of the patients.


“The Abbott investigation shows that the leaders in medical attention must focus on adopting technologies that help the patient in monitoring his or her own health in a proactive manner through the available instruments, that can be covered by insurance, that are easily accessible, precise and of high quality,” said Dr. Nick West, medical director and vice president of vascular affairs for Abbott.


The publication “Beyond Intervention” analyzes why it is urgent to improve cardiovascular health for women. It also reveals that equality in health care continues to be a growing concern and that a “single” focus is out of date.


In this respect, women with coronary artery disease reported a more challenging experience than their male counterparts, including access to attention, emotional factors and relations with their doctor.


Part of this can be related to documented cases in which women’s symptoms are presented in a different manner and are underrepresented in clinical trials.


A study published by Global Health Action indicates that two of three deaths in women are caused by cardiac disease, cerebral vascular accidents, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.


“Marginalizing vascular health in women has clinical and economic consequences that directly contrast with the objective of improving the health of the population, the experience of the patient and the quality of attention, and also reducing costs,” said Dr. Héctor Martínez, director of Cardiology at the Mayagüez Medical Center.

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