Women get less aggressive treatment for heart disease than men, researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported Sunday.
Women are less likely to receive preventive care such as non-invasive diagnostic testing, including treadmill tests and angiography, a procedure that determines the location and condition of an artery. Women also are less likely to use aspirin, which has been shown to help prevent second heart attacks, the study found.
"Our study points out the need for more vigorous use of proven treatments like aspirin for women with heart disease," said the author of the study, Dr. Lisa M. Schwartz of Vermont's White River Junction VA Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School.
Despite a great amount of public focus on breast cancer, heart disease kills many more women in the United States, the study said. About 20 percent of women over 65 are affected by heart disease and are 10 times more likely to die of it than breast cancer, the study said.