WomenHeart response

December 08, 2008

Washington, D.C. - December 8, 2008 -- WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is releasing the following response to the study "Sex Differences in Medical Care and Early Death After Acute Myocardial Infarction" in journal Circulation. The study finds women receive less evidence-based medical care in the hospital than men and have higher rates of death after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Lisa M. Tate, CEO, WomenHeart: "WomenHeart was founded a decade ago by a group of women with heart disease who were fed up with misdiagnoses and inadequate care they had experienced. It is a sad day when we can say that not only is the needle not moving to correct disparities in care for women with heart disease, but that it might be moving in the wrong direction. This study is a giant shout out for increased education about prevention, care and treatment for women with heart disease to both the public and physicians. WomenHeart empowers women with education and information to advocate on their own behalf; however, until health care professionals follow the specified treatment guidelines, thousands of women will continue to die needlessly."

Sharonne Hayes, MD, Director, Women's Heart Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and member of the WomenHeart Board of Directors: "The fact that nothing has changed through the years and that disparities in care persist should outrage all of us. This study is only a single example of what we see in every population and database that's been looked at. And not just for heart attacks. We fall short in treating women for high cholesterol, heart failure, implanting life saving medical devices and participation in cardiac rehabilitation to name a few. We in the medical profession set our own benchmarks and guidelines for care, and then are unable to follow our own rules and advice. These hospitals knew they were having these care parameters measured, and still they fell short in caring for women."
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WomenHeart can provide patient spokespersons that may have experienced inadequate and/or inappropriate care.

WomenHeart is the only national, patient-centered organization dedicated to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education and patient support. A nonprofit advocacy organization, WomenHeart is a community of women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives.

WomenHeart's Web site is www.womenheart.org.

WomenHeart: National Coalition for Women w Heart Disease

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