The clinical presentation of heart disease is different between men and women and this distinction is pivotal for a correct diagnosis and an adequate treatment. However, the definition of symptoms classically associated with heart disease is mainly based on the characteristics of those reported in men. Chest pain or chest discomfort in women are therefore often regarded as “atypical” and these symptoms tend to be misdiagnosed and under- treated. Further, women are less likely to receive appropriate invasive and non invasive investigations. They are less likely to refer for medical help and tend to present late in the process of the cardiovascular disease, with delays in the start of effective treatment. Therefore, a gender-specific assessment of cardiovascular risk is strongly advised for patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of heart disease.
Keywords: Coronary disease, angina, heart disease, women, misdiagnosed, symptomatology, atypical, palpitations, dyspnea, scapula, angiograms, prognosis, dyslipidemia, atherogenic, stratification, diastolic, systolic, intramural
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