The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Death-Rate for Heart Surgery Higher for Women

Jan 29, 2024

A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the outcomes of an operation called coronary artery bypass grafting (C.A.B.G.) varies depending on whether you are male or female. C.A.B.G restores blood flow to and from the heart by taking arteries from patients’ arms or chests, and veins from their legs, and using them to replace or bypass the blocked blood vessels.

This is the most common cardiac operation in the United States, taking place 200,000 to 300,000 times a year, according to the lead author of the study. Twenty-five percent to 30% of C.A.B.G. patients are women. After analyzing the results from about 1.3 million patients from 2011 to 2020, researchers determined that women had more complications, including deaths from this surgery.

What is causing these negative outcomes? Most of the studies are done on men, with less than 20% of women in clinical trials. It means what doctors are learning is essentially based on research about men. Contrary to a popular misconception that heart disease is a man’s disease, it is the number one killer of women in the U.S. and in the world. Women with heart disease are more likely to be misdiagnosed and/or undertreated than men. There is often a delay in treatment because women present with different symptoms when having a heart attack than men. Many doctors believe the misconceptions about women and heart disease. Some doctors dismiss women’s complaints. Almost 85% of cardiologists are men.

How can this happen when women comprise half the population and mothers to future generations? With all the technical and scientific advances of the past decades, with this knowledge available about negative results of C.A.B.G. surgery for women, why has this not been addressed? It is all the disgusting attitudes about women that capitalist society promotes, affecting doctors and the medical profession. Discrimination against women is the oldest of all discriminations. If women want something different, we have to begin to fight for revolution.