Gender Differences in Coronary Artery Disease

Dr. Marianne Legato discusses how she evaluates patients being screened for cardiovascular disease. She says that one of the things she looks for are the signs of early coronary artery disease in men, as well as the unique symptoms in women. Women also experience coronary artery spasm, which does not affect men, that can cause angina even in the presence of non-obstructive coronary disease. They can have clean coronaries and still experience chest pain.

There were 20 reported cases of patients who suffered a serious traumatic shock, both good and bad. One had a surprise birthday party, and others were more obvious, like a death in the family. Those patients went into heart failure immediately. 19 of the 20 reported cases were women and Dr. Legato finds this to be a very striking difference in how men and women experience heart disease.

Dr. Marianne J. Legato, MD, FACP, a specialist in Gender Specific Medicine, or Women's Medicine and Men's Medicine respectively. Dr. Legato is part of the Women's Heart Foundation, an international gathering of nurse executives, civic leaders, community health directors, member hospitals, partners, providers and corporate sponsors who want something done to fight women's heart disease.

 Dr. Legato promotes the inclusion of women in clinical trials of relevance to the health of both men and women. She furthers the study of biological differences in men and women, and how gender plays a role in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, all to benefit patients.


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