Women less likely than men to receive potentially lifesaving heart device

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Women experiencing heart failure are less likely than men with the same condition to receive a mechanical heart pump designed to help blood circulate through the body, says a study published in the September issue of the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. The pump, called a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, is typically used in people who have advanced heart failure. Looking at data from nearly 30,000 hospitalizations in which people received an LVAD device, the researchers found that women made up only 21.9% of those recipients. That number represented a decline from 2004, when 25.8% of LVAD recipients were women. The study's author said the difference might reflect a reliance on outdated statistics that showed women were more likely to die after receiving LVAD devices. This is no longer the case with new versions of the device.

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