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Feature Article

Acute coronary syndromes – improving outcomes in women

ALEXANDRA MURPHY, Jennifer Johns

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Abstract

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death around the world and represents a major threat to the health of Australian women, in whom it is under-recognised. Acute coronary syndromes often present differently in women than in men, and women may be undertreated, receiving less risk factor modification, less invasive treatment and less guideline-recommended secondary preventive medication after a cardiac event. Efforts must be made to improve the risk profile, awareness and treatment of cardiovascular disease among women in Australia.

Key Points

  • Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in Australia and represents a major threat to the health of Australian women, in whom it is under-recognised.
  • Compared with men, women have a higher prevalence of certain traditional cardiac risk factors but receive less intensive risk factor modification.
  • Women have greater mortality associated with cardiovascular disease.
  • Women with acute coronary syndromes present differently to men and are often undertreated.
  • There is potential to improve awareness and treatment of cardiovascular disease among women in Australia.

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