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A Kansas City doctor says heart disease needs to be taken more seriously in women

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Once considered predominantly a men's disease, heart disease kills more women each year than cancer. One Kansas City doctor says that men and women are mistakenly prescribe different preventative treatment regimens.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and kills more women each year than all cancers combined, according to St. Luke's cardiologist, Dr. Tracy Stevens.

Although women are dying from heart disease at near-equal rates as men, a recent report found that physicians often prescribe differing preventative treatment advice.

"Women are less likely to be prescribed cholesterol medicines," Stevens says. Instead, they are suggested to make lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.

"The common misconception in women," she added, is "because your HDL is good, your ratio is fine, which is absolutely incorrect."

Stevens joined Up To Date to discuss women's heart health, patient advocacy and the importance of gender-aware studies.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz.
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