Cardiovascular Tests: Common Tests Insufficient for Diagnosing Female Heart Blockages

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What kind of cardiovascular tests are specific for women?

Cardiovascular Tests: Common Tests Insufficient for Diagnosing Female Heart Blockages

Researchers are discovering that many of the usual cardiovascular tests for heart blockages and other problems are insufficient for detecting problems in women.

Routine tests examine the heart's major arteries for blockages. Since this is typically where plaque builds up in men, the tests usually find most male heart problems.

For women, however, the smaller vessels are the ones that tend to become blocked. Because many diagnostic tests are unable to closely examine smaller blood vessels, many women are given a clean bill of health while they continue to experience symptoms. Called coronary microvascular syndrome, this heart condition puts women at a higher risk for heart attack.

Experts haven't yet determined how to solve this problem, but they do suggest that doctors look even more closely at women who show no signs of blockages, but continue to suffer symptoms. These women could need medical intervention and should not be ignored.

   

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