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Noninvasive Technologies for Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease in Women

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Background: The Importance of Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease in Women

Diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD) is a crucial step toward improving outcomes in women. Overall, up to or as many as 40 percent of initial cardiac events are fatal.

The 2005 American Heart Association update on heart disease and stroke estimated new and recurrent myocardial infarction (MI) to occur in 520,000 men versus 345,000 women; among these, 93,800 men and 85,700 women die annually as the result of an MI. Women who have had an acute MI have a worse prognosis than men, with a greater recurrence of MI and higher mortality.

The goals of a diagnostic workup for women who have symptoms suspicious for CAD are to identify CAD with optimal accuracy and to establish the basis for instituting preventive and therapeutic interventions.