APS Sponsors Conference on Gender Differences in HealthReleased October 13, 2011
- For years, those involved in cardiac care viewed the diagnosis and treatment procedures for cardiovascular disease as applicable to both men and women, despite the fact that heart disease kills 200,000 women each year, five times the rate of breast cancer. Today, thanks in part to physiology -- the study of how the body works -- physicians now know that instead of developing blockages in the arteries supplying blood to the heart, a common occurrence with men, women accumulate plaque more evenly inside the major arteries and in smaller blood vessels. This condition, which appears to be particularly common in younger women, can be as dangerous as the better-known form of the disease. This and other new cardiovascular research findings are just one of the outcomes resulting from the revolution in gender studies in physiology. Cardiovascular disease and other gender-specific conditions are the topic of the latest conference sponsored by the American Physiological Society.