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J Am Med Womens Assoc (1972). 2001 Fall;56(4):151-4, 160.

Sex differences in the referral process for invasive cardiac procedures.

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Center for Clinical and Genetic Economics at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27715, USA.


Nearly twice as many women in the United States die of heart disease and stroke every year as die from all types of cancer. Several studies have shown that women are less likely than men to be referred for invasive cardiac procedures. Despite extensive literature documenting sex differences in invasive cardiac procedure use, few studies have investigated the ways in which sex may affect the patient and physician decision-making process in referrals for cardiac care. This paper presents a framework outlining 8 stages of the referral process and discusses the role sex plays in each one. This framework was adapted from one describing the influence of race on the referral process for invasive cardiac procedures. A representative sample of the literature is reviewed to describe the influence of sex at each stage.

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