Home Health Heart and Stroke report says inequities put women’s health at risk

Heart and Stroke report says inequities put women’s health at risk

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A new report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada highlights “gross inequities” in women’s heart and brain health care, citing racialized indigenous women, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, It disproportionately affects low-ranking people and others.

report released on WednesdayA research and care gap exacerbated by a lack of awareness of the distinct heart disease and stroke risk factors facing women is putting lives at risk.

In general, women who have had a heart attack are less likely than men to receive necessary treatment and medications in a timely manner, and are more likely than men to die in the following year, according to reports.Heart and Stroke In 2019, 20% more women than men died of heart failure in Canada, and 32% more women than men, according to the report. According to the report, heart disease and stroke claimed the lives of more than 32,200 women in 2019, taking her one life every 16 minutes.

Heart and Stroke said the women referred to in the report include not only cisgender and transgender women, but also transgender and nonbinary people who “share experiences that may not be women.” said to be included.

The report identifies women with greater health risks than other women, including racialized women, indigenous women, women from the LGBTQ2S+ community, women of lower socioeconomic status, women with disabilities, and women living in remote areas. It focuses on women groups facing inequalities in

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) women are more at risk for cardiovascular disease, but Canadian guidelines for understanding these risks are not based on ethnicity, report says says. According to a 2014 reportResearchers, in collaboration with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, found that among 1,000 pregnant women in Ontario, gestational diabetes was twice as common in South Asian women as in white women of European descent. Similarly, Afro-Caribbean, Hispanic and Chinese-North American women are at increased risk of heart disease due to predispositions that many are unaware of.

Women of lower socioeconomic status and those living in rural areas also face greater health risks due to lack of routine access to health resources, education and nutritious and affordable food.

Additionally, women who may not be identified as women in the LGBTQ2S+ community and those who share their experiences face increased health risks as well as discrimination when seeking medical care. According to TRANS Pulse, 44% of transgender people in Ontario said they had unmet health needs in 2019. Many of them reported avoiding the emergency room or seeing their family doctor because of past negative experiences that made them feel dismissed or misunderstood.

Dr. Alexandra Bastiany, Canada’s first black woman, said multiple layers of a woman’s life play a major role in diagnosing and treating heart disease.

“Being female is a risk factor for not getting proper treatment, but there are other factors that can affect patients,” Bastiani told CTVNews.ca in a January 20 telephone interview. It is not possible to take everything into account.

Gaps in unbiased medical training

According to the report, nearly 40% of people in Canada are unaware that heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of premature death among women. This is particularly dangerous for BIPOC women, as the health of racialized women can be affected by several factors, including racism, historical trauma, and language and cultural barriers. the report said.

Practicing outside the Thunder Bay Community Health Sciences Center, Bastiany’s shift in duty from a clinic in Montreal to a more remote community in northern Ontario has helped strengthen the relationship between Indigenous communities and local Indigenous peoples. She says she has become more aware of women’s needs.

“Because of past experience and historical trauma, there is definitely a mistrust of the system, and I’m trying to bridge that and improve it on a small scale.

Bastiany said healthcare providers need more awareness and hands-on experience in how to approach BIPOC patients. Not only will this help patients feel secure in their doctors’ care, she said, it will also help them build trust with a healthcare system that has failed in the past.

“I think there is so much room for improvement in the training, just online modules are not enough. I think you need the hands-on, real-life experience you need at the start of your training.A better doctor,” she said. Told.

How Women Can Advocate for Theirself

The report also included various testimonies of women who either failed to recognize symptoms of heart disease in themselves or were dismissed by their health care providers.

Women are at greater risk for cardiovascular health due to factors such as pregnancy, which can lead to high blood pressure, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can lead to increased risk of obesity and heart disease and stroke. Additionally, some heart conditions that can occur in men, such as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (commonly known as broken heart syndrome), can be triggered by stress and are more common in women. You can see

In cases like these, Bastiany said it’s essential that women understand the existing risk factors for their health and recognize unusual patterns so they can seek immediate medical attention if needed. said it was.

Heart disease and stroke in women may not manifest as severe chest pain during a heart attack, especially since women are more likely to experience multiple symptoms at once, according to the report. Or discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulders, upper back, or upper abdomen is common in women.

Many women are unaware of the risks they face in pregnancy, age, menopause and other heart conditions. Screening and education are important because heart disease can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of subsequent stroke, says Bastiany.

“It’s important to know your risk factors and know your medical situation so that people can advocate for themselves and know when something is wrong.

Additionally, she said women should not be afraid to seek another health opinion if they feel dismissed by their health care provider.

“Patients should not be afraid to ask for a second opinion. I think it’s very fine,” she said.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation says it has seen improvements over the past five years when it comes to incorporating women’s needs into cardiovascular health research and treatment, but more work remains to be done. In particular, the organization is calling for improved women’s heart and brain health guidelines for diagnosis and rehabilitation based on women’s specific needs. Additionally, there is a need to focus on education and awareness-raising in the medical field and among women in general to encourage patients to talk to health care professionals without limiting themselves, the report said. I’m here.

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