Marcia Klein-Patel, MD: Better Cardiovascular Outcomes Needed for Women

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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women.

While cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women, more resources and advocacy is needed in this area.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Marcia Klein-Patel, MD, Chair of the Allegheny Health Network Women’s Institute, explained the gender gaps that exist in cardiovascular health and what can be done to close those gaps.

“We know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women,” Klein-Patel said. “But there’s an underrepresentation of females in those clinical trials, which widens that sex gap in mortality.”

She also said women are less likely to receive aggressive risk reduction therapy and counseling and there are non-traditional risk factors that are often not accounted for in screening and diagnosing women with cardiovascular disease.

There are also a number of negative comorbidities women are at an increased risk of with cardiovascular disease, including diabetes and negative pregnancy outcomes.

Klein-Patel also talked about the burnout issues that are persistent for women in medicine, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some ways health care facilities can better manage burnout among personnel is by investing more in the actual people and some simple things like promoting better hydration and healthy habits and providing time for rest and reflection.

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