The use of oral contraceptives in women who smoke cigarettes has been associated with a significant increase in deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in the legs) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung). The latter may be a fatal condition. Smoking must be avoided when oral contraceptives are used.
While the premenopausal state does not preclude CAD it does greatly reduce the risk of CAD. Once menopause is reached the rates of CAD in women increases. This raises the question: Should women routinely take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to try to prevent CAD? At present there is not a definitive answer to this question. Risks of HRT are often greater than the cardiac benefits and are not recommended.
The treatment of CAD in women has been examined in detail and some studies have shown that women may not do as well as men when treated with bypass surgery or angioplasty. Latter studies have shown that this may not be true. The factors that impact on the outcome of bypass surgery and angioplasty may place women at a disadvantage. Age is a major risk factor for complications of these procedures and women tend to be older then men when undergoing surgery or angioplasty.
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