Cardiovascular Health in Women: An Overview of Gender-Related Issues

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In 2004, the American Heart Association launched its “Go Red for Women” campaign. This campaign was an effort to educate women of all ages regarding cardiovascular (CV) disease. CV disease is a major health threat not just for men but also for women. In 2003, 483,842 women died as a result of CV disease; this number is increasing annually. More than half of these deaths were the result of an acute myocardial infarction. Unfortunately, many women with CV disease sought treatment so late that significant CV damage already occurred; more unfortunate was the fact that many of these women never even reached the hospital. For women who do seek medical attention, emergency department personnel are often the first providers of care. Therefore, it is imperative that emergency department providers recognize and treat acute cardiac events promptly and efficiently to promote positive patient outcomes to reduce morbidity and mortality in women with CV disease.

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