Coronary Heart Disease in Women: Status 1998

  • Nanette Kass Wenger
Part of the Medical Science Symposia Series book series (MSSS, volume 13)


Despite major recent advances in the recognition and management of coronary heart disease as a preeminent health problem for women, its high prevalence and lethality persist. Coronary heart disease is the major cause of mortality for U.S. adult women, accounting for about 45% of all female deaths [1,2]. The total mortality from myocardial infarction, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases has been greater for U.S. women than for men each year since 1984, because the U.S. population of older women substantially exceeds in size that of older men. Prominent age-dependency is a gender-specific characteristic of coronary heart disease in women in that 1 of 8 or 9 women aged 45–64 years has clinical evidence of coronary disease, as compared with 1 of 3 women older than 65 years of age. [1] Any initial clinical manifestation of coronary heart disease occurs about 10 years later for women than for men, with myocardial infarction sustained as much as 20 years later; explanations for this delayed onset remain poorly understood. Once coronary heart disease becomes clinically evident, it results in substantial morbidity and disability for women, compromising the functional status and life quality, particularly for older women; as well, coronary heart disease contributes prominently to hospital admissions and physicians visits for women.


Coronary Heart Disease Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery Myocardial Revascularization Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy Initial Clinical Manifestation 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers and Fondazione Giovanni Lorenzini 1999

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  • Nanette Kass Wenger

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