Women's Heart Advisor April 2009 Issue

Women Are Underrepresented in Clinical Drug Trials

Here’s why it could affect your care.

Physicians use the results of randomized, controlled clinical trials (RCT) to determine appropriate treatments for their patients. But most cardiovascular disease (CVD) clinical trials do not enroll a sufficient number of women to enable doctors to draw the conclusions they need. According to an article in the August 2008 Journal of the American College of Cardiology, enrollment of women in federally funded, mixed-gender RCTs conducted from 1997 to 2006 with outcomes including fatal and nonfatal heart attack and stroke was only 27 percent—too few, considering one in every three women dies of cardiovascular disease.

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