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When it comes to heart disease, the healthcare system is often biased against women. Medtronic is working to diversify its clinical research to ensure that all patients have equal access to care.
“Heart disease is regularly undetected, misdiagnosed and undertreated in women,” said Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler, MD, a Preventive Cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute and the Medical Director of Health Equity and Promotion at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. “Part of the reason is that historically, clinical heart research mainly studied men. So detection, treatment and standards of care are often biased in their favor.”
Several heart disease tests are geared more toward the male anatomy, which can lead to missed diagnoses in women.
On top of this, female patients are included in less than 40% of clinical studies.
“The majority of the medical literature is based on evidence collected from just one part of the population — predominantly white males,” said Dr. Alan Cheng, Chief Medical Officer of the Cardiac Rhythm Management Operating Unit at Medtronic. “The assumption has been that the information can be entirely extrapolated to the rest of the population, but we’re beginning to appreciate that’s not always the case.”
To help combat this, Medtronic is diversifying the clinical research for its medical devices. One of these studies focusing on heart valve replacement is enrolling primarily women.
Read more at news.medtronic.com.