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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has historically been viewed as a man’s disease, yet more women than men die from CVD every year.1 Even with national campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of CVD in women, the number of women diagnosed with and dying from CVD continues to increase across the world.1 While biological differences between women and men likely contribute to these differences in outcomes, disparities in cardiovascular care may also play a role. Potential areas in cardiovascular prevention where disparities may occur include inadequate screening, untimely diagnosis and/or lack of appropriate treatment of CVD in women compared with men.
In their Heart paper, Hyun and colleagues evaluated potential gender disparities in cardiovascular risk screening and preventive medication use among patients with high cardiovascular risk enrolled in the Treatment of cardiovascular Risk in Primary care using Electronic Decision suppOrt (TORPEDO) study.2 3 This cluster-randomised trial conducted in 60 Australian primary care practices was designed to test whether an electronic decision support tool improves CVD risk detection and management. Using baseline enrollment data from TORPEDO, the study aimed to evaluate for gender differences in (1) recording of risk factors needed for CVD risk assessment (recorded smoking status, systolic blood pressure (BP) in previous 12 months, total and high density lipoprotein cholesterol in previous 24 months) and (2) appropriate preventive medication use (prescription for one or more BP-lowering drug and a statin for people at high risk without CVD, or a prescription for one or more BP-lowering drugs and a statin and an antiplatelet agent (unless already on an oral anticoagulant) for people with a diagnosis of CVD). High cardiovascular risk was defined by a history of CVD, presence of high risk conditions (diabetes mellitus and age >60 years, diabetes mellitus and albuminuria, stage 3B chronic kidney …
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