The approach to Acute Coronary Syndrome from a gender perspective is relatively recent. Research is extensive at epidemiological and clinical levels. However, available evidence, besides neglecting the social dimensions of the disease, has made women invisible. The objective of this review was to analyze the inequalities and gender biases in Acute Coronary Syndrome, from the beginning of the disease process to the final resolution.
An exhaustive review of the literature of the entire health care process, from risk factors to rehabilitation and recovery, was carried out. The search for articles on gender, gender inequalities, or gender bias was conducted in indexed journals of social and health sciences. Also, a specific search was performed for each stage of the process, such as risk factors, prehospital phase, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Results showed the presence of gender biases throughout the entire health care process in Acute Coronary Syndrome. It is shown gender inequalities in the access to medical care, including a poor recognition among women themselves as well as among health professionals; longer prehospital delays; inadequate diagnoses and treatments; or less assistance to cardiac rehabilitation programmes. These biases occurred at the different levels of the health services involved. Finally, this review included recommendations proposed or arising from the revised papers.
Reducing gender biases in Acute Coronary Syndrome implies developing strategies to raise awareness among women, improve training of professionals serving at the different levels of health services, reduce delays, develop health management measures, and promote a research agenda.