Women Need To Know More About Treating Heart Disease

Related Posts

Although 73 percent of women know how to prevent heart disease, many are not aware of how to treat once a diagnosis has been made.
Women need to know more about treating heart disease

In a survey of 1,979 women over the age of 35, only 55 percent say they understand how to treat heart disease. Often incorrectly named prevention techniques such as exercise and healthy eating as a treatment option, and less than 10 percent of respondents named the actual treatments such as angioplasty and stent placement.

Hispanics and African-Americans, both groups considered at high risk for heart disease, twice as likely as Caucasian women to say they do not know no treatment at all.

The survey was conducted by the campaign "Healthy heart" sponsored by the women of the National Center health resources and Cordis Corp. The campaign encourages women to learn about treatment options for coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease, so they can make better decisions if diagnosed.

"The good news is that women realize that they are at risk for heart disease. The bad news is that they are too confident in their ability to prevent and treat it," said Dr. Cindy Grines, an interventional cardiologist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oaks, mich "women need to realize that education is the key to conquering the threat of coronary artery disease. There are a variety of treatment options now."

The most common procedure for treating coronary artery disease is coronary balloon angioplasty with stent. Angioplasty to widen the narrowed artery by threading a balloon-tipped catheter through the arm or groin artery to the blocked artery in the heart. The balloon inflates to push the plaque into the artery wall, which in turn expands the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily.

Scientific advances have led to the development of drug-eluting stents, tiny mesh scaffold that props the artery open while releasing small amounts of certain drugs, such as sirolimus, inside the artery over a period of time. This helps keep plaque from reforming and helps prevent repeat blockage from occurring in the blood vessels.

Coronary bypass surgery is another treatment option. While more invasive, it is a safe and effective treatment for patients who may not qualify for angioplasty and stenting.