Much of medical research has focused on the ‘bikini approach‘ to women’s health: breasts and reproductive organs. And the University of Toronto’s Dr. Wendy Tsang’s studies on heart research has found that, although women comprise 53% of patients with cardiovascular disease, in clinical trials they represented only:
- 29% of subjects with coronary artery disease
- 25% with congestive heart disease
- 34% with cardiac arrhythmias
We need to change that. Women MUST get involved in cardiac research if we are to see improvements in diagnostics and treatment of our heart disease.
Before 1993, studies that tested new drugs had special eligibility criteria that prohibited women from participating. Those criteria have been dropped and all women are now eligible to participate in studies.
We do not know why heart disease kills more women over 50 years old than men of the same age. Almost nothing is known about this because, until recently, almost all research was done using men as subjects.
This is now beginning to change, and a woman can help researchers find out more, if not for herself, then for her mother, her sisters, her friends and especially for her daughters.
As Dr. Nieca Goldberg writes:
“When it comes to heart disease, women are not just small men.”
Examples of women’s heart disease studies that are now recruiting:
- Women diagnosed with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) are being recruited for a Canadian study based in seven cities nationwide, led by cardiologist Dr. Jaqueline Saw in Vancouver. Canadian SCAD Study.
- Young women (19-55 years of age) with non-obstructive coronary artery disease: Prospective Registry of Young Women With Myocardial Infarction: Evaluating the Prevalence and Longterm Impact of Non-Atherosclerotic CAD (PRYME)
- Women or men over age 18 who have signs and symptoms of myocardial ischemia and angina or angina equivalent (chest pain, abnormal stress testing, abnormal noninvasive testing) or microvascular angina: Heart Disease of the Small Arteries in Women and Men. Cedars Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, California.
- Women with early breast cancer: Multidisciplinary Approach to Novel Therapies in Cardiology Oncology Research (MANTICORE) Underway, no longer recruiting
- Women or men with a suspected Ischemic Heart Disease referred to the cath lab for undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (angioplasty): Sex and Gender Differences in Ischemic Heart Disease – Endocrine Vascular Disease Approach (EVA) Rome, Italy.
Young pre-menopausal women with heart disease have twice the rate of death compared to men of the same age. You may be eligible for this study if you are under age 55, pre-menopausal, and have had clinically-indicated coronary angiography within the last 24 months prior to enrollment with no interim change in symptoms, hospitalization, or events. Cedars Sinai Women’s Heart Center, Los Angeles, California. Estrogen Deficiency and Cardiovascular Disease in Premenopausal Women
- Women with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis who are eligible for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). Women’s International Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Registry (WINTAVI) Underway, no longer recruiting
- Women with past history of coronary artery disease and Type 2 diabetes/metabolic syndrome: Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT)
Please consider participating in heart research.