Managing Ischemic Heart Disease in Women: Role of a Women's Heart Center

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2021 Aug 4;23(10):56. doi: 10.1007/s11883-021-00956-x.


Purpose of review: Heart centers for women (HCW) were developed due to the rising cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in women in the United States in the early 1990s. Our review encompasses the epidemiology, risk factors, diagnostic strategies, treatments, and the role of HCW in managing women with ischemic heart disease (IHD).

Recent findings: HCW use a multidisciplinary team to manage women with IHD. Due to the paucity of randomized controlled trials investigating various manifestations of IHD, some treatments are not evidence-based such as those for coronary microvascular dysfunction and spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Sex-specific risk factors have been identified and multimodality cardiac imaging is improving in diagnosing IHD in women. Treatments are being studied to help improve symptoms and outcomes in women with IHD. There has been progress in the care of women with IHD. HCW can be instrumental in treating women with IHD, doing research, and being a source of research study participants.

Keywords: Ischemia with non-obstructive coronary arteries (INOCA); Multidisciplinary healthcare delivery; Myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA); Non-obstructive coronary artery disease; Sex differences in cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United States