10 Q Report: Advancing Women’s Heart Health through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment

Despite the fact that more women than men die each year of heart disease 2, and that there are known sex differences in symptoms and treatment, medical treatment of women has not changed substantially nor has it resulted in appropriate research into the distinct sex differences that exist in cardiovascular (CVD). Time is of the essence.

Conducting appropriate sex – and race/ethnicity- specific differences research and analysis of CVD findings has been difficult due to insufficient recruitment of women and minorities into the trials. This has contributed to a lack of awareness of sex difference in CVD. Improved participation rates of women and minorities in CVD trials research would result in more appropriate prevention and early detection, accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of all women with heart disease

Executive Summary

The 2011 10 Q Report presents a consensus by leading experts on the top ten questions in cardiovascular care for women. The report follows up on a similar assessment published in 2006 by the Society for Women’s Health Research and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. SWHR and WomenHeart consulted with cardiovascular experts to identify the top 10 unanswered research questions concerning the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women.

The report provides a road map for future research concerning women’s cardiovascular health. Answers to the following ten questions should improve early detection, accurate diagnosis and treatment for women living with or at risk of heart disease.

1. What factors influence or explain disparities in cardiovascular disease epidemiology and disease outcomes between men and women?

2. What are the best strategies to assess, modify, and prevent a woman’s risk of heart disease?

3. What are the most accurate and effective approaches to assess and recognize chest pain and other symptoms suggesting coronary heart disease in women?

4. What role does a woman’s reproductive history and menopausal hormone therapy play in the development of heart disease?

5. What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disorders associated with pregnancy and how are they best treated?

6. What is the best method for studying sex differences in vascular injury so that cardiovascular repair therapies may be improved?

7. What are the most effective treatments for diastolic heart failure (heart failure with preserved pumping function of the heart) in women?

8. Why are young women more likely than men to die after a heart attack or after surgical revascularization procedure?

9. How do psychosocial factors affect cardiovascular disease in women?

10. What biological variables are most influential in the development and clinical outcomes of heart disease and what can be done to reduce mortality rates in women?


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