A new first-of-its-kind scientific review of gender gaps in cardiovascular research supports what many of us already suspected—there’s a ‘stunning’ lack of research into women’s heart health.

Heart disease and stroke are the #1 cause of premature death for women but two-thirds of clinical research is based on men, according to Heart & Stroke.

Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the comprehensive review of existing heart research found the lack of research into cardiovascular disease in women puts women at risk.

In turn, the more than 30 authors of the paper—“State of the Science in Women’s Cardiovascular Disease: A Canadian Perspective on the Influence of Sex and Gender”—found that women are often misdiagnosed, under-diagnosed and under-treated.

The review, released by Heart & Stroke and the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance, concludes that cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death among women in Canada and this can, in part, be attributed to the lack of women-focused research. Overall, women are far less aware of their risk factors.

This emphasizes a vast opportunity for exciting and timely research that will save the lives of women. Indeed, the hope is that the review will mean changes to the way women’s cardiovascular health is studied and treated in Canada.

The good news is this that the tides are turning and this latest review highlights the importance of bringing together researchers and other experts to focus on women’s health.

A bright spot on the horizon is The Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit that is to take place April 2-3 in Ottawa. Hosted by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Heart & Stroke, the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit is designed to provide health professionals with up-to-date information on emerging research and up-to-date clinical practices affecting women’s cardiovascular health across their lifespan.

The Bridge Medical Communications team looks forward to learning the latest insights in heart, brain and vascular conditions from international and national leaders, as well as new treatment options for women.