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Premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) occurs at or before the age of 55. Strategies in secondary prevention in women with premature ASCVD are lacking in the medical literature. This cross-sectional, national, and multicenter VA study, published in JAMA Cardiology, examined sex-related disparities in antiplatelet and statin treatment among female veterans with premature and extremely premature ASCVD. 

A total of 147,600 participants were included in the study. All participants had been diagnosed with premature ASCVD: ischemic heart disease, ischemic cerebrovascular disease, and/or peripheral arterial disease. 

Ultimately, 10,413 women and 137,187 men with premature ASCVD were identified. Among the female participants, African American women had the highest prevalence of premature and extremely premature ASCVD. In all cases, the female participants received less treatment that utilized statin or antiplatelet medication than the male participants. 

The researchers concluded that a sex-based disparity existed in the secondary prevention cardiovascular care of women with premature and extremely premature ASCVD. A call to action is made for multidisciplinary and patient-centered interventions to improve treatment access and treatment adherence among female veterans with premature and extremely premature ASCVD [1].


[1] Lee, M. T., Mahtta, D., Ramsey, D. J., Liu, J., Misra, A., Nasir, K., Samad, Z., Itchhaporia, D., Khan, S. U., Schofield, R. S., Ballantyne, C. M., Petersen, L. A., & Virani, S. S. (2021). Sex-related disparities in cardiovascular health care among patients with premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. JAMA Cardiology, 6(7), 782. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2021.0683

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