Atherosclerosis and Gender Essay

Pages: 2 (809 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Disease

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

There is statistical evidence of this prejudice: more likely to be prescribed statins than women, despite the fact that the drugs are considered equally effective for both genders (Ricciotti 2003).

The risks which make one more prone to atherosclerosis are similar for women as they are for men: a poor diet, lack of exercise, and genetic susceptibility. But heart attacks are more deadly in women than men: a woman is 50% more likely to die during heart surgery than a man. This may be due to the greater 'subtlety' of signs that cause them to be missed, despite the fact that women are more likely to go to the doctor than men for regular check-ups. But it could also be due to "fundamental difference" in women's hearts vs. men's (Ricciotti 2003). Not only do "women have smaller hearts and smaller arteries than men" but there is evidence that "women also have a different intrinsic rhythmicity to the pacemaker of their hearts, which causes them to beat faster" (Ricciotti 2003). This means that a standard EKG may be less accurate for women than for men. "A 2000 article published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that of 10,000 people who reported to a hospital emergency room, a small number had heart problems but were mistakenly sent home instead of being hospitalized. These people were more likely to be women under the age of 55, minorities, and people whose electrocardiogram (EKG) was normal" (Ricciotti 2003).

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Although deaths from heart disease have been dropping for the past 30 years, they have not dropped nearly as fast for women as they have for men because of these physical and cultural biases. For many years, most medical research on heart disease was primarily conducted on male subjects, leading to a gap in knowledge of how hardening of the arteries differs in the two genders. Knowledge on how heart disease manifests itself in women in different ways is still playing 'catch up' with what is known about the progression in men.

References

TOPIC: Essay on Atherosclerosis and Gender Assignment

Heart attack symptoms in women. (2014). AHA. Retrieved from:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Heart-Attack-Symptoms-in-Women_UCM_436448_Article.jsp

How does heart disease affect women? (2013). NIH. Retrieved from:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/

Ricciotti, H. (2003). Heart disease -- differences between men and women. BIDMC. Retrieved

http://www.bidmc.org/CentersandDepartments/Departments/Medicine/Divisions/CardiovascularMedicine/YourHeartHealth/TipsforHeartHealth/HeartDiseaseDifferencesBetweenMenandWomen.aspx

What is atherosclerosis? (2013). NIH. Retrieved from:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atherosclerosis/ [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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