It’s time to round up the flat-chested ‘heart-attack gender gap’ ...

World

It’s time to round up the flat-chested ‘heart-attack gender gap’ facts

Cardiologist Angela Maas’s book explains the disparity between the sexes when it comes to heart health

Isla Whitcroft

Prof Angela Maas will never forget the moment she realised she was failing her female patients. It was the early 1990s and she was treating a woman who had typical symptoms of heart disease — shortness of breath, fatigue, sporadic chest pains,  but for whom no diagnosis could be found.

Until that time Maas had been dealing with her female patients as she had been taught during her cardiology training, that is, in exactly the same way as men, even if it was clearly not working.

“I learnt that women sometimes had weird, anomalous symptoms, or that they imagined things, or that they just didn’t take their medication properly,” one of the leading cardiologists of her generation explains from the University of Radboud Medical Centre in the Netherlands, where she is based...

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