This site is intended for health professionals only

Women lose out on care for angina

Women who suffer from the heart condition angina are likely to receive a lower level of medical care than men, a study claims.

According to research, a "gender-based pecking order" exists in the treatment of the illness - and scientists claim women come lower on the list than their male counterparts.

Angina is caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries which prevents sufficient oxygen getting to the heart muscles. It is often accompanied by chest pain or discomfort - including shortness of breath - when sufferers physically exert themselves.

About 1.2 million people in the UK are estimated to suffer from angina, and it is more common in men.

But many women are also sufferers and scientists at the University of Aberdeen, who carried out the research, said the lower levels of treatment for women were "worse than we anticipated".

Dr Mike Crilly, lead researcher in the study published in the Journal of Women's Health, said: "I don't think this is just sexism - that is too simplistic. I believe there are broader cultural factors at work here.

"Traditionally, heart disease is seen very much as a male disorder."

University of Aberdeen

Copyright © PA Business 2008