Men With Heart Disease and Diabetes Get Better Care Than Women

| Jun 6, 2007

A study just published by the RAND Corporation, a well-known think tank, has found that routine care received by women for their heart disease and diabetes isn't as good as that received by men.

And the treatments aren't expensive; they're just low-cost treatments that can forestall serious future problems.

The care received by more than 50,000 men and women, enrolled in ten commercial insurance plans and nine Medicare plans in 1999, was assessed. Eleven tests, treatments, and measurements of health were examined, all of them important to the care of people with heart disease or diabetes. For diabetes patients, the researchers looked at whether A1c's, LDL (bad cholesterol), nephropathy, and eyes were checked.

Among people with commercial health plans, women were significantly less likely to receive six of the eleven measures. Women with Medicare were less likely to receive four of the eleven measures. For instance, women were less likely to be prescribed ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors for congestive heart failure and beta blockers following a heart attack.

The largest disparity was for control of LDL among people with diabetes, where women were 19% less likely to achieve control among Medicare enrollees and 16% less likely among commercial enrollees.

Source: RAND Corporation

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