Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women and female specific risk factors have tended to be an under-represented and understudied aspect when compared to their male counterparts. CVD is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women, and over the recent years the overall decrease of CVD in women has stagnated, particularly among younger women. In this article by Castelvecchio and Nappi, the authors attempt to bring to the limelight the pressing need for better and more coordinated collaboration between obstetricians, gynaecologists, cardiologists, and other healthcare professionals who care for women.
Specifically, the presence of a natural reproductive cycle during which women have regular contact with their clinicians, can be used as an opportunity to regularly evaluate cardiovascular health and intervene where appropriate. In addition, risk factors specific to women such as early menarche, premature menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome,, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy should be evaluated and maybe incorporated into risk calculators to more accurately portray women’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ultimately, as healthcare professionals we should be working towards reducing the burden of CVD in women and also monitor the more traditional risk factors in women. Given the risks of lifetime cholesterol accumulation, smoking and hypertension, and the armamentarium of treatments available this is a further call for action.