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Gender and Cardiovascular Disease

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The leading cause of morbidity and mortality for women in Canada and in much of the world is coronary heart disease (CHD).

  • Historically researchers have long understood that both sexes suffer from coronary heart disease. However, the impact of CHD on women’s health has been long underestimated.

  • For many years CHD has been recognized as the disease of the middle aged and elderly men, and the research has been mainly focused on this population. 

  • Such views were a reflection of past societal values which dictated that the health and contribution of men was of primary importance to the growth of the economy and the development of society.

  • Since the life expectancy of women has increased over the years, the once uncommon phenomenon of CHD in women is now more prevalent and CVD is the leading cause of death in women as well.

  • However, despite the knowledge that CHD is more becoming prevalent, it still continues to be underdiagnosed in women by heath care professionals.