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Angina sex inequity

Women with angina are twice as likely as men to die or suffer a heart attack in the year after diagnosis, 'striking' new findings reveal.

The research found evidence women were systematically undertreated for angina ­ and for the first time linked deficiencies in care to adverse outcomes.

It comes as a new European Society of Cardiology report warns doctors are underestimating women's risk of cardiovascular events, particularly in older patients.

The new study of 3,779 patients from the Euro Heart Survey of Stable Angina found women were 19 per less likely than men to be referred for an exercise ECG. Women were also 41 per cent less likely to be referred for coronary angiography, according to the study, published online by Circulation.

After one year's follow-up, women were 2.1-fold more likely than men to suffer death or non-fatal heart attack, even after adjusting for age, abnormal ventricular function, severity of disease and diabetes.

Study leader Dr Caroline Daly, clinical research fellow at Imperial College London, said the adverse outcome observed in women with confirmed coronary disease 'is the striking finding of the study'.

Professor Shah Ebrahim, who set up the British Women's Heart and Health Study in 1998 and is professor of public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: 'There has been concern about differences in rates of referral and investigation in women and this study confirms they have a worse outlook. The whole system is not working in women's interests.'

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