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Gender Bias in Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review

Al Hamid, A, Beckett, R, Wilson, M, Jalal, Z, Cheema, E, Al-Jumeily OBE, D, Coombs, T, Ralebitso Senior, T and Assi, S (2024) Gender Bias in Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review. Cureus: Journal of Medical Science, 16 (2). pp. 1-16.

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Cardiovascular disease (CVDs) has been perceived as a ‘man’s disease’, and this impacted women’s referral to CVD diagnosis and treatment. This study systematically reviewed the evidence regarding gender bias in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of CVDs. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. We searched CINAHL, PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, British Nursing Index, Scopus, and Google Scholar. The included studies were assessed for quality using risk bias tools. Data extracted from the included studies were exported into Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS, v26; IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Armonk, NY), where descriptive statistics were applied. A total of 19 studies were analysed. CVDs were less reported among women who either showed milder symptoms than men or had their symptoms misdiagnosed as gastrointestinal or anxiety-related symptoms. Hence, women had their risk factors under-considered by physicians (especially by male physicians). Subsequently, women were offered fewer diagnostic tests, such as coronary angiography, ergometry, electrocardiogram (ECG), and cardiac enzymes, and were referred to less to cardiologists and/or hospitalisation. Furthermore, if hospitalised, women were less likely to receive a coronary intervention. Similarly, women were prescribed cardiovascular medicines than men, with the exception of antihypertensive and anti-anginal medicines. When it comes to the perception of CVD, women considered themselves at lower risk of CVDs than men. This systematic review showed that women were offered fewer diagnostic tests for CVDs and medicines than men and that in turn influenced their disease outcomes. This could be attributed to the inadequate knowledge regarding the differences in manifestations among both genders.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cardiovascular disease prevention; cardiovascular diseases (cvd); diagnosis and treatment; gender bias; women’s health; 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Computer Science & Mathematics
Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Springer
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2024 14:44
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2024 14:45
DOI or ID number: 10.7759/cureus.54264
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22755
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