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Women Less Likely to Get Treatment After Heart Tests

Many were still not prescribed heart medications 6 months after exam, study found

FRIDAY, May 11, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Women are far less likely than men to receive diagnostic testing or treatment to unblock heart arteries within six months of a cardiac stress test, a new study finds.

University of Colorado researchers looked at more than 8,200 women and men without a prior history of coronary heart disease.

Compared to the men, the women referred for exercise stress testing were older and more likely to have a history of health problems such as high blood pressure, high blood fats and stroke, the researchers found.

During their exercise stress tests, women were more likely to have chest pain and negative ECG readings, the study found.

In the six months following the exercise stress testing, women were less likely than men to have coronary angiography or revascularization and were also less likely to be prescribed statin, ACE inhibitor, or beta-blocker drugs.

"Future studies should further investigate whether these management differences explain sex differences in cardiovascular disease outcomes," the study authors wrote.

The findings were expected to be presented May 11 at the American Heart Association's Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Washington, D.C.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about stress testing.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, May 11, 2007
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