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Experts Issue New Heart Disease Guidelines for Women
Date:2/15/2011

se is still limited. "The women we see are often sicker, older and have many more co-morbidities than women who participate in clinical trials," Mosca said. For example, women tend to have more side-effects from statins. "The evidence isn't all that strong for statin use as a primary prevention in women," she said. "We want future trials to publish data by gender not just for the benefits but also for the side effects."

Dr. Annabelle Volgman, medical director of the Rush Heart Center for Women in Chicago, said there's still a long way to go in making sure women understand their heart disease risk.

"Fifty-four percent of women know about the risk, but that means 46 percent of women still don't know it's the No. 1 killer," Volgman said. "And although there's been a decline in death rates from heart disease in women, we are seeing more young women 35 to 54 years old having strokes."

A newly approved drug, Pradaxa (dabigatran) is a good alternative to Coumadin (warfarin) for treating atrial fibrillation.

"I find women are more reluctant than men to take drugs. So I always say, "It's Prada with a 'xa,'" Volgman said.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on preventing heart disease in women.

SOURCES: Lori Mosca, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., chair, guidelines writing committee, and director, preventive cardiology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City; Annabelle Volgman, M.D., medical director, Rush Heart Center for Women, Chicago; Feb. 15, 2011, Circulation, online


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