A central Iowa heart doctor acknowledges women with heart disease are being “undertreated” due to misperceptions about the killer disease only striking men. A recent national survey found more than half of women with heart disease were NOT happy with the level of care they received. Dr. Steve Smalley, a cardiologist at the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines, says the problem should be addressed.Dr. Smalley says one of the key factors is that so many people think heart disease only hits men, which is false. He says women make up at least half of the heart disease cases later in life. He says the public needs to be reeducated. Smalley says most young women would likely say they’re most likely to die from breast cancer and would name that as their number-one health concern. He says by far more women die from cardiovascular disease than breast cancer. Smalley says better communication is needed between doctors and patients to remedy the undertreatment of women with heart disease.The American Heart Association says heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women, butwomen are 15-percent more likely to die from it than men. The survey results appear in the current edition of Women’s Health Issues.
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