Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death in women in all countries of Europe (2). One in five European women die from coronary heart disease each year (2) and by 2020 coronary heart disease among women globally will have increased by 120 percent from the levels of 1990 (3). Women are more likely than men to have a second heart attack within six years of the first and are 50 percent more likely than men to die in the first year after a heart attack (4).
Tests for diagnosing coronary artery disease have been traditionally developed and tested in men. For example women make up only 38 percent of the participants in cardiovascular studies funded by the National Institutes of Health in the US (5). But women with coronary artery disease often complain of different symptoms from men1 and show clinical differences as well, with damage more often occurring in smaller blood vessels with fewer arterial blockages, a condition called microvascular disease (6). As a result, more women than men with heart conditions can show normal vessels in spite of their worsening symptoms (7). Negative or unclear tests in women can often mean heart disease goes missed and untreated.
Philips has been developing diagnostic tools which take gender differences into account since the 1970s (8). The company's latest advance is the PageWriter TC50 cardiograph which allows healthcare professionals to easily and efficiently take and record ECGs - tests of heart activity - assisting the clinician in making a timely diagnosis. The PageWriter TC50's sophisticated analysis programme, the DXL Algorithm, uses different criteria for men and women to help clinicians interpret cardiac symptoms, including identifying acute global ischemia, the restrictions of blood supply to large areas of the heart.
"Philips understands that heart disease can be different in women than in men and also harder to detect," commented Joris van den Hurk, vice president of cardiology programs for Philips Healthcare. "We work closely with leading healthcare organizations, patients and clinicians to continually increase our understanding of heart disease in women so that we can develop solutions, such as the PageWriter TC50 and the DXL Algorithm, to improve the early detection of heart disease in women."
Philips is the first company to provide healthcare professionals with comprehensive diagnostic tools which respond to recommendations by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the Heart Rhythm Society for myocardial infarction and acute ischemia, including gender and age-specific criteria (9).
You can visit Philips at ESC 2009 at Barcelona, Spain in booth # K 499 - Zone 3 Exhibition area from August 29 - September 2.
1. McSweeney JC, Cody M, OSullivan P et al. Women's early warning symptoms of acute myocardial infarction. Circulation 2003;108:2619-2623.
2. Allender S, Scarborough P, Peto V et al. European cardiovascular disease statistics 2008. European Heart Network 2008: 1-112.
3. Murray CJL, Lopez AD, eds. The global burden of disease: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press on behalf of the World Health Organization and the World Bank 1996.
4. Texas Heart Institute. http://www.texasheart.org/HIC/Topics/HSmart/women.cfm.
5. Harris DJ, Douglas PS. Enrollment of women in cardiovascular clinical trials funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. New England Journal of Medicine 2000; 343:475-480.
6. Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Small vessel heart disease. October 2007; 25(10):1-3.
7. Bugiardini R, Bairey-Merz CN. Angina with "normal" coronary arteries: a changing philosophy. Journal of American Medical Association 2005; 293:477-484.
8. Internal data from Philips.
9. American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation/Heart Rhythm Society. Recommendations for the standardization and interpretation of the electrocardiogram, Part VI: Acute ischemia/infarction. Circulation 2009;100:e262-e270.
Related news articles:
- Philips Healthcare's Profile
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 26 billion in 2008, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.