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Research Letters |

Reconstructing Angina: Cardiac Symptoms Are the Same in Women and Men

Catherine Kreatsoulas, PhD; Harry S. Shannon, PhD; Mita Giacomini, PhD; James L. Velianou, MD; Sonia S. Anand, MD, PhD
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(9):829-833. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.229.
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Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of mortality in the Western world. The prevalence of angina and proportion of deaths from CAD is higher among women than men.1,2 Despite this, the perception that CAD is a man's disease prevails.35 Historic faulty assumptions in the construct of angina, failure to systematically include women in clinical studies, and differences in age-specific incidence rates have perpetuated this perception.5,6 As a result, the term typical angina has evolved to describe symptoms in men, whereas atypical angina is applied to women. This lack of clarity has been a source of controversy in understanding CAD in women.

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Figure. Continuum of symptoms according to sex and gender among patients with obstructive coronary artery disease. *Women vs men, P < .05; no significant differences in symptoms between men and women with shared experiences.

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