Heart disease doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender

Women with heart problems receive fewer tests than men and sometimes less medication. This stems from the common misconception that heart problems are rare among women and do not represent a threat, even though reputable studies show this to be one of many myths associated with women’s cardiac health. Commenting on this year’s World Heart Day, September 28, World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador Jane Seymour said: «Women are the heart of the family, yet they neglect their own hearts.» Another myth which was demolished this year concerns the supposedly protective role of estrogen after the menopause. «Views change in medicine, as in many other fields,» Pavlos Toutouzas, director of the Greek Cardiology Foundation, told Kathimerini. «A recent study of 16,608 women showed that this therapy has no effect on women’s hearts.» Consequently, the latest studies counsel equal treatment for men and women and preventive measures so that women retain good health after the menopause. «Nowadays people live longer and continue to enjoy life at an age where this was once not taken for granted,» commented Toutouzas. «Women of 70, 80 and older keep up their social life; they are active and witty, often more so than much younger women, and they attract attention. The prerequisite for all of that is good health. So women who want to live to 70 and 80 in good mental and physical trim must not neglect the basic preventive measures to protect their health when they are young.»