The EU funded GENCAD project analysed major differences between women and men in the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). These differences are still largely unknown in Europe. Lack of consideration impairs treatment of women and men and puts life in danger. To close the gap in awareness and knowledge, the GENCAD project developed factsheets for health care professionals and the general public. They are based on approx. 1000 references, and truly reflect the international knowledge on gender specific needs in CAD .
Project Summary: Gender in coronary artery disease GENCAD
The GENCAD project aims to improve the understanding and awareness of sex and gender differences in chronic diseases, using coronary artery disease (CAD) as an example. For this purpose,GENCAD conducted a state-of-the-art study on existing knowledge in gender differences in cardiovascular disease, a study on the awareness of health care professionals and the general population and used this knowledge to develop factsheets to improve knowledge and awareness on sex and gender aspects in CAD.
Our study reviewed the published literature on gender differences in CAD in the last 15 years from all over the world. It searched publications in the areas of prevention and health promotion, epidemiology, disease mechanisms, clinical symptoms and diagnosis, management, as well as outcomes. More than 1000 articles were retrieved. Significant gender differences that need consideration were found in all fields. For example, diabetes and smoking have a greater weight as risk factors in women than in men. New gender-specific risk factors are emerging: mental health, socioeconomic status, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and disturbances of sex hormones and of sexual function. CAD and ischemic heart disease diagnosis and syndromes differ in women and men, as well as treatment response and outcomes.
Based on the sex and gender differences identified in the bibliographic study, factsheets were developed for both health care professionals and the general public, integrating feedback from consortium partners and GENCAD extended networks. They have been validated with groups of experts for general agreement and have finally been approved by DG Health and Food Safety.
Communicating facts and factsheets at two conferences, in the internet, via the webpages of a net of stakeholders, like you, interested in gender medicine and in the social media will help closing the gaps between gender knowledge and translation to the medical practitioners, policy makers and the general public in an exemplary field. We would greatly appreciate having your support for this activity.
The consortium GENCAD lead by the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Institute for Gender in Medicine)
Service contract SANCO/2013/C1/008 – 17.031800/14/698167
The European union represented by the European Commission, DG Health and Food Safety, Directorate C, Unit C1, Program and knowledge management
General Public Fact-sheets
Healthcare Professionals Fact-sheets