Friday, February 22, 2008

What I learned from the internets today

As a middle-aged woman with a lousy family history when it come to heart disease and stroke, I thought I was doing the right thing by frequent blood pressure checks, taking those medications that control the problems, being aware of the symptoms of a heart attack, and making some effort to live a healthier lifestyle.

Silly me. I should have consulted the All Seeing Eye Wege to determine the true source of my problems. Women, it turns out are suffering greater deaths because of heart disease and stroke, and it’s not for all the reasons medical professionals tell us.

One may think that it’s because of this country’s failure to watch its collective weight:

Strokes have tripled in recent years among middle-aged women in the U.S., an alarming trend doctors blame on the obesity epidemic.

One might also think that it’s because women experiencing heart attacks have been found to have to wait longer for treatment than men:

In a heart attack, the saying goes, “Time is muscle.” The faster a person gets treated, the better his or her chances of survival and recovery.

But a new study finds that women who have heart attacks wait longer than men to receive an emergency procedure that can re-open clogged blood vessels and restore blood flow to the heart muscle. The study also finds that the longer any patient waits for this treatment, the higher his or her chances are of dying before leaving the hospital.

One might even think that it’s because of disparities in treatment that leave women and minorities not receiving the critical emergency care that often saves lives:

… the study found that rates of reperfusion therapy, coronary angiography and in-hospital death after heart attack varied according to race and sex. The rate of treatments went progressively down in white women, black men and black women compared with white men, with black women found to have the lowest use of interventions.

Then there’s the fact that the disease may manifest itself differently in women, making it difficult to diagnose:

Many women suffer from a form of heart disease that is fundamentally different from the type that strikes most men and is easily missed by standard tests, researchers reported Tuesday.

There’s also the possibility that millions of uninsured women or crowded emergency rooms could come into play here. Or that among the insured, the most effective medications are often not on the insurer's formulary. There are a number of documented medical reasons why women might die more frequently than men with the same disease.

But you'd be wrong if you listened to those doctors and public health professionals.

That's because the all knowing Wege has cracked this nut. It’s FEMINISM that causes heart attacks and strokes among women!

But it's the proximity of the HRC story to the increase in women's heart attacks that caught my eye. I always thought that the point of feminism was going to be the undoing of the bullshit male corporate culture. Instead it was all, apparently, about teaching women to grow a dick. Women in corporate cultures have, more than anything, simply reinforced the bullshit that was already in place and now those pioneering dames can start taking half an aspirin a day like their bull-headed colleagues.

Now if you'll excuse me, this dame has a date with an aspirin.

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