Saturday, September 15, 2007

Aggressive Heart Treatment May Harm Women

news you may not knowGo Ahead - Heart Yourself...

Matters of the heart.

There's always room for dispute when it comes to matters of the heart. Now, cardiologists are joining the fray. A recent study from Sweden indicates men and women may benefit from differing methods of care in treating heart conditions.

The study, from researchers at the University Hospital in Linkoping, Sweden, compared two groups of women, with an average age of 68, who were given different levels of treatment. One group was treated quite aggressively, in a fashion similar to men, while the other group was treated with a wait and see attitude.

The results are somewhat surprising.

There were eight deaths in the aggressively treated group, compared to just one in the conservatively treated group, after one year. The overall study population was quite small, comprising a total of 184 women.

The aggressively treated group was given a routine invasive heart X-ray, while the other group was simply monitored for symptoms. This resulted in a significant difference in bypass surgeries and angioplasties between the groups: 58% of the aggressively treated group received these procedures, compared to just 31% of the conservatively treated group.

Researchers theorize the difference in outcomes may be due to women having a higher bleeding tendency than men, placing them at increased risk from invasive procedures. Whatever the distinction, it certainly points to the need for research specifically targeting the cardiovascular needs of women.

But, as in all matters of the heart, it appears the most reasonable first step may be for men everywhere to apologize - for everything - and to send flowers...

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn more about women's heart health issues, see this from the National Institutes of Health.


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