Exaggerated claims about the value of preventive care and unequal treatment of women in the health care system are degenerating into farce. The latest evidence comes from the American Council on Science and Health’s Daily Dispatch, Monday, July 29, 2013:
Coronary artery disease affects just as many women as men and can lead to heart attack, or cause heart failure or arrhythmias. However, according toa new report…this potentially fatal disease is likely to go unnoticed in women. Thus, women may not be getting the same level of preventive care as men.
Take a moment and think about the accusation that women “may not” be getting the same level of preventive care as men. Preventive care means taking steps that keep otherwise healthy people from having a bad health event. Unfortunately, the only existing preventive care advice for preventing coronary artery disease in otherwise healthy people is indistinguishable from general health advice.
The Mayo Clinic says don’t smoke, exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week, eat a heart-healthy diet low in fat, cholesterol and salt, maintain a healthy weight, and get regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes. WebMD agrees, adding that one should both manage stress (write, let your feelings out, meditate) and get help for depression. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says “adopt a healthy lifestyle” and follow a healthy diet that is “low in sodium (salt), added sugars, solid fats, and refined grains.” Don’t be overweight, be physically active, don’t drink to excess, and quit smoking.
Is it really likely that U.S. women have had less exposure to this “preventive care” than U.S. men?