Research Confirms that Heart Disease's Presentation and Treatment Varies by Sex
Research released as National Women's Heart Health Month begins shows that heart disease manifests differently in women than in men and requires independent study and treatment, confirming a report on women's health in the current issue of Ms magazine. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s study, “Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation” (or WISE), asserts that rather than blocking off entire arteries, cholesterol plaque spreads more evenly in women’s arteries, which is equally dangerous and less successfully diagnosed by doctors trained to look for symptoms more frequently seen in men.
Speaking to Ms., Dr. Andra Blomkalns, of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, stated, “[t]he key factor is that women often present differently” than men. Blomkalns notes that rather than becoming nauseous, sweating and having pain in the chest and arms as men typically do, women with heart problems often suffer from what seem to be gastrointestinal problems or have pain in their face or back. Even when a successful diagnosis is made, women often receive insufficient or inappropriate treatment. C. Noel Bairey Merz, chair of the WISE study said, “…the basis of our standard methods of diagnosis and treatment are the result of research conducted on men.” As reported in Ms., standard prevention, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, such as bypass surgery, digitalis, aspirin, and the exercise treadmill test, are more successful in treating men than women.
Recognition that both diagnosis and treatment needs to be considered in light of the patient’s sex has the potential to save many women’s lives. It is thought that nearly 3 million American women may suffer from heart problems, and heart disease is the number one killer of women. Speaking of the research, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s George Sopko told the Washington Post, “This is a big deal. This is changing our thinking about heart disease in many women.”
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The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .