New guideline calls for ethical treatment of women, minorities who need artery-opening procedures 

Gender, race and ethnicity should not be factors for cardiologists deciding whether invasive heart procedures should be performed on patients, according to a new guideline issued Dec. 9  from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. 

Researchers completed a comprehensive literature search for publications on human subjects from May to September 2019, with additional relevant studies from September 2021 being considered in the guideline development. 

"Treatment recommendations in the guideline outline an evidence-based approach to managing patients with coronary artery disease who are being considered for coronary revascularization, with the intent to improve quality of care and align with patients’ interests," Jennifer Lawton, MD, guideline writing committee chair and professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a release.

Researchers said while no evidence suggests that some patients with equivalent clinical indications benefit less than others; there is evidence suggesting non-white patients are less likely to receive reperfusion therapy or invasive strategies.

The guideline specifies all revascularization treatment decisions should be based on clinical indications, regardless of sex, race or ethnicity to ensure equity and reduce care disparities. The guideline also updates previous recommendations for intervention, surgery and/or therapy in certain populations.  

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