New CVD Data Suggests Earlier Screening in Young Women

 

Heartability founder Shayna Robinson had a cardiac arrest at 33 with no known risk factors. She had never been screened for CVD.  

Heartability founder Shayna Robinson had a cardiac arrest at 33 with no known risk factors. She had never been screened for CVD.  

In a new study on young women and heart disease by the National Institute of Health, researcher Dr. Elizabeth G Nabel of Brigham and Women's Health Care (Boston, MA) calls for an increased awareness of "behind the curtain" health data. Recommendations include cardiovascular disease screenings by primary care physicians, gynecologists and obstetricians. 

CVD is the number one killer of women, yet there is very little data or research being done that is sex specific. For a younger group of women, the recent data from the August 24, 2015 article in Circulation points to a stagnant mortality rate. 

They note that "contrary to common perception," roughly 22% of all emergency hospitalizations due to a blockage of blood supply to the heart, are for women younger than 55 years old. Also, approximately 25% of all hospitalizations due to heart attack are for women.

In recent decades, "CHD prevention guidelines may disproportionately underestimate risk in the young population, undermining prevention efforts," possibly because of less traditional risk factor patterns.

Moving forward, Nabel recommends ongoing CVD screenings in both women and men over age of 25 years across several specialties. For women, that could include primary-care physicians, gynecologists, and obstetricians.

In addition, "specialists such as endocrinologists can play an important role in CVD diagnosis and treatment by considering comorbidities such as diabetes, which has risen dramatically in young women over the past few decades along with a concomitant increase in overweight and obesity."

 Recommendations 

CVD screenings by primary care physicians, gynecologists and obstetricians.