Secondary Prevention of Heart Disease in Women: Gaps in Care/Gaps in Knowledge—Where Do We Need to Focus Our Attention

  • Emily Lau
  • JoAnne M. FoodyEmail author
Women + Heart Disease (E Jackson, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Women and Heart Disease


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in women in the USA, and yet, CVD is consistently underestimated and undertreated in women. Awareness of this gender gap is growing, but still persists. Women with existing CVD are a particularly vulnerable and neglected population. Better understanding of the secondary prevention of CVD is sorely needed. Women are underrepresented in all CVD trials and sex-specific research is lacking. Consequently, the present guidelines for the secondary prevention of CVD in women are largely derived from studies performed in men. Albeit imperfect, these guidelines are less frequently applied to female patients. CVD outcomes are consistently worse in women than men, highlighting the need to address this gender disparity. We review the current guidelines and data on the secondary prevention of CVD in women and outline areas in need of further investigation and intervention.


Secondary prevention Cardiovascular disease Coronary artery disease Women 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Joanne Foody and Emily Lau have no relevant disclosures to report.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Cardiovascular MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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