Coronary artery disease in women: True specificities to know in order to improve management and outcome
Despite increases in awareness over the past decades, few women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer. In 2016 already, AL Madika and C. Mounier-Vehier (Lille, France) stated that coronary artery disease in women is a major public health problem, often underestimated. In fact, coronary artery disease is the leading death for women in Europe and developed countries. Women should become a priority target of prevention.
Traditional vision of coronary artery disease as myocardial ischaemia due to obstruction of major coronary arteries do not represent all the aspects of ischaemic disease in women. Myocardial ischaemia without obstruction of major coronary arteries, described as microvascular dysfunction is often unknown and ignored. It is yet a situation at high cardiovascular risk.
In addition, presentation and symptoms of coronary artery disease are misleading in women.
Take-home message: Coronary artery disease in women remains under-diagnosed and under-treated. It is necessary to improve management of women at cardiovascular risk, whose inequalities contribute to the excess of female mortality from coronary artery disease. Cardiovascular health in women requires an individualized approach, an effective prevention and teamwork