“Women make the difference in heart disease”

 

Cardiovascular disease in women is the number one cause of death worldwide. Women and men have different patterns of ischemic heart disease (IHD) throughout their lifetime. In clinical cardiology, the male obstructive pattern of coronary artery disease (CAD) dominates in risk assessment, symptom evaluation, diagnostic testing and therapy. Women have more non-obstructive CAD and functional IHD in the coronary (micro-)circulation, which is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Different patterns of IHD translate into different symptoms of angina between genders. A better understanding of typical female symptoms of angina and a more female-tailored risk stratification will lead to earlier recognition, optimal treatment and better outcomes of IHD in women. In the past 25 years, we have made notable progress in our understanding of women’s heart disease and women’s hearts. Groundbreaking studies have informed us so much more about the novel risk factors that can impact women’s likelihood for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this presentation we will give an overview of what has been achieved and the important questions that need to be answered.