Treating Chest Pain In The Average Woman Tops $1 Million Over Lifetime

Armen Hareyan's picture

Coronary Artery Disease

Treating chest pain associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) could cost a woman more than $1 million during her lifetime; and even the chest pain associated with mild artery blockage (nonobstructive CAD) could reach $750,000 for an average woman, according to a study published in Circulation.

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Chest pain symptoms may be the most important driver of women's cardiovascular healthcare costs, said lead study author Leslee J. Shaw, Ph.D. "Lifetime healthcare costs can reach $1 million for each woman with heart disease in this country," she said. "The societal burden for coronary artery disease for women with chest pain is expensive and could be responsible for a sizeable portion of U.S. healthcare costs."

Researchers investigated the economic burden of cardiac symptoms on women. Shaw and investigators from the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study reviewed data on 883 women who had been referred for coronary angiography and compared data on their health, finances and quality of life for at least five years. Coronary angiography is a specialized X-ray examination of the coronary arteries and is one of the most frequently preformed procedures in women.

Researchers found that 62 percent of women studied had nonobstructive coronary artery disease