Heart Experts Call For Action Against Missed Opportunities To Prevent Heart Disease In Women

DALLAS, April 30 -- The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology called today for action against missed opportunities to reduce women's risk of coronary heart disease, the No. 1 killer of both men and women.

The scientific statement, produced in collaboration with four other professional health organizations, provides updated recommendations for closing what the AHA and ACC say is the wide gap between what is known to prevent heart disease in women and what actually is being done.

The scientific statement, "Guide to Preventive Cardiology for Women," which is published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and will appear in the May 11 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, was produced in collaboration with the American Medical Women's Association, American College of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Among the recommendations:

  • A statin or cholesterol-lowering drug should be considered instead of hormone replacement therapy as the first line of drug therapy for lowering high blood levels of cholesterol in postmenopausal women.

  • The target blood level of high-density lipoprotein, HDL, the "good" cholesterol, should be higher than national recommendations.

  • Diabetes increases a woman's risk of heart disease three to seven times, compared with a two- to three-fold risk increase in men. Thus, it is imperative to step up efforts to identify women at risk and provide them with effective treatment.
"Although more women die from coronary heart disease than from cancer or any other disease, we are missing many opportunities to reduce the risk of heart disease in women," says Lori Mosca, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the consensus panel that developed the statement and chair of the AHA's "Take Wellness to Heart" campaign to inform women about reducing their risk for heart d

Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
American Heart Association

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