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Women at Risk for Coronary Heart Disease: How Research is Translated Into Innovation and Quality Outcomes at Kaiser Permanente




Eleanor Levin, MD, FACC; Joyce Arango, DrPH

Winter 2005 - Volume 9 Number 1

https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/04-126

Introduction

In the United States, coronary heart disease (CHD) is the primary cause of death in women and larger than the next 16 causes of death combined.1 Six times as many women die of heart attack as from breast cancer.1 Although onset lags ten years behind that of men, 38% of women die within one year of their first myocardial infarction (MI) compared with 25% of men.1

Despite these statistics, however, women and their health care providers have for many years perpetuated a misconception that CHD in women is less prevalent and more benign than in men. This mistaken belief has resulted in less aggressive health care for women and less attention to risk factors that require preventive care in women. However, clinical practice guidelines of The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) have long emphasized the premise that both primary and secondary preventive treatment should be as aggressive for women as for men.2-4

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