Noninvasive diagnosis of coronary heart disease in women
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States accounting for over 600,000 deaths and 1 million hospital admissions each year. Although the overall prevalence of disease is lower in women than in men, one quarter of all deaths in women is caused by CHD. Observations in clinical practice have uncovered a number of interesting facts regarding CHD in women. Despite pathoanatomic similarities in atherosclerotic coronary arteries of men and women, the clinical presentation of CHD frequently differs. Furthermore, the diagnostic approach and interpretation of findings, particularly those yielded from noninvasive tests, may be different, at times drastically so. In this review, the authors discuss the current noninvasive strategy for diagnosing CHD in women.
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