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Heart Watch Blog: Microvascular Syndrome Common In Women

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Jan 31, 2006

Microvascular Syndrome Common In Women

Microvascular Syndrome Common In Women
While about 12 million U.S. women are having coronary artery disease about 3 million of them have a condition called coronary microvascular syndrome. Women with this condition have atherosclerotic plaques in the tiniest arteries of their heart, reducing oxygen flow.

Standard techniques of diagnosing heart disease including X-rays of the coronary arteries, or angiography, would not find this problem. Only careful additional tests of coronary blood flow can identify this problem.

Women with this condition might seek medical care because they're unable to perform their normal daily activities. They complain of low energy and shortness of breath, but not necessarily the chest pain experienced by men with coronary artery disease.

In the past, doctors would often attribute such symptoms to neuroticism or depression, especially when angiography revealed nothing unusual, says George Sopko of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who serves as the project officer for the ongoing WISE study, the journal supplement's focus.

Men get coronary microvascular syndrome, too, but they represent only 20% of cases, says WISE chair C. Noel Bairey Merz, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In the USA, more women than men have died of heart disease every year since 1984. Yet, most studies about the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease have been conducted in men, she says.

Daniel      



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Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: Microvascular Syndrome Common In Women

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