Why do black women have a higher risk of death from heart disease than white women?

©2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Among a group of women with symptoms of angina who were tested for a suspected coronary blockage, nearly 3 times as many black women as white women died of heart disease. The study determined whether differences in the women's angina symptoms could affect the risk of death in these two groups, and the researchers report their findings in Journal of Women's Health.

Jo-Ann Eastwood, PhD and a team of researchers from medical institutions across the U.S. found that for white women, the severity or type of anginal symptoms—whether typical chest pain or more atypical symptoms such as —did not affect outcomes. However black women tended to have more , a worse prognosis when diagnosed with heart disease, and a higher risk of related death.

In the article "Anginal Symptoms, Coronary Artery Disease, and Adverse Outcomes in Black and White Women: The NHLBI-Sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) Study," the authors conclude that these racial differences in symptom presentation for may be a barrier to correct and timely diagnosis and an important contributor to poorer outcomes for black women.

"These results indicate that we need to raise awareness among women and their healthcare providers of in anginal symptom presentation in order to improve both diagnosis and outcomes," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website at http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Catheterization increasing for seniors with STEMI

date 27 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—From 1999 to 2009 there was a decrease in the proportion of older adults with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) who did not undergo cardiac catheterization, according ...

Race influences warfarin dose, study says

date 8 hours ago

A new report demonstrates that clinical and genetic factors affecting dose requirements for warfarin vary by race. The study, published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), propose ...

Even moderate BMI reduction could ease A-fib burden

date 11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Incremental increases in body mass index (BMI) are associated with excess risk of incident, postoperative, and post-ablation atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a review published online ...

Personalized saline may provide solution to heart death

date 13 hours ago

Saline solution is a staple of every hospital. No matter the ailment, doctors have known for more than a century that saline is key to keeping patients hydrated and maintaining their blood pressure levels. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.