alexa Women at risk of coronary heart disease experience barriers to diagnosis and treatment: a qualitative interview study.


Primary Healthcare: Open Access

Author(s): Frich JC, Malterud K, Fugelli P

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To explore barriers in the health service to diagnosis and treatment experienced by women at increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). DESIGN: Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. SETTING: Norway. SUBJECTS: Twenty women diagnosed with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) recruited through a lipid clinic. RESULTS: Women reported three specific barriers related to diagnosis and treatment of CHD. They had to struggle to take a cholesterol test; they experienced that their risk was being downplayed by doctors; and that their symptoms of CHD were misinterpreted when they consulted doctors for evaluation and treatment. CONCLUSION: Stereotyping CHD as a man's disease may result in barriers to diagnosis and treatment for women. Doctors should ask the patient about the family history of CHD if a concern about heart disease is on the patient's agenda. This article was published in Scand J Prim Health Care and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access

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