There is a gender bias against women for CVD treatment
Women often receive fewer diagnostic procedures and less intensive treatment than men who present with similar symptoms. In general, women are less likely to receive an angiography, undergo intensive evaluation, be treated with aspirin, heparin, or beta blockers, and less likely to receive cardiac surgery. There is an apparent bias against women in the clinical setting. Women are treated differently on the basis of gender than to their clinical condition. These differences exemplify the powerful effect social values have in the delivery of health care.
In one particular study of cardiovascular nuclear medicine as a screening method used in making decisions to refer patients for catheterization and coronary artery bypass surgery, the author found that although abnormal results found in 31% of women and in 64% of men, physicians only referred 4% of the women for surgery, while referring 40% of the men. This 10:1 ratio was independent of age, and even after a multiple logistic regression analysis was made that accounted for age, previous myocardial infarction, presence of both typical and atypical angina, and abnormal tests rests, the male to female ratio was 6.3:1. The authors concluded that the decisions used to refer patients for cardiac catheterization “…cannot be explained entirely by differences in the sensitivity of tests or the rates of coronary artery disease; it also cannot by explained by differential benefits from surgery.” These findings question whether or not there is a systematic bias towards women.
|Lifestyle| / |Misperception| / |Physician Attitudes|