Objective: Coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality is higher in women than in men and misdiagnosis of CHD in women is one of the reasons for this, with differences in the presentation of CHD between men and women being a cause for the misdiagnosis. This review discusses the need for evidence-based guidelines to diagnose and treat CHD in women.
Methods: Reviews, randomized controlled trials, and other studies pertinent to the topic were obtained using electronic search strategies, such as MEDLINE and Cochran Library, as well as manual selection. Sources selected were limited to those that discussed CHD, with specific emphasis placed on sources that focused on CHD in women. Selected studies were then assessed for quality of data and relevance via analysis of the study's methodology, results, and data. Results of selected studies were then stratified using a rating system devised to determine the quality of results using the scientific evidence provided for them. The references of the selected studies were then used to obtain and analyze additional studies in the same manner.
Results: Control of lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity, diet, and weight are all necessary in women to control CHD, as is the maintenance of healthy lipid levels and blood pressure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and antiplatelets can help aid lifestyle changes in CHD management for women while hormone therapy and vitamin E have no proven benefits in CHD management.
Conclusions: New gender- and evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of CHD in women need to be developed and adopted by physicians so that prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of CHD is made more effective.