A More Effective Way to Evaluate Chest Pain in Women

By Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum | Posted Aug 9, 2022

According to a new study, a more personalized approach to evaluating chest pain in women may be more effective and eliminate the need for unnecessary testing. The study was recently published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The results found that using a risk calculator that takes into account a woman’s age, symptoms, and risk factors was more accurate than the standard method of evaluation.

A Balanced Heart Is A Healthy Heart

Are you living from the heart? Find out. Take our brief quiz to get your own #LiveFromTheHeart tip sheet.

Take the quiz!

The Standard Approach vs. The Personalized Approach

For the study, researchers used data from the National Institutes of Health-funded Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study to develop and validate a risk calculator for ischemia—a condition in which not enough blood flows to the heart. They then compared the performance of the calculator to that of the standard approach, which relies on exercise stress testing (EST) to diagnose ischemia.

The findings showed that the risk calculator was more accurate than EST in identifying women with ischemia. In addition, the calculator eliminated the need for EST in nearly one-third of the tested women. This is important because EST can lead to unnecessary procedures, such as angiography, which carries a small risk of complications.

The best method to evaluate chest pain.

This new study provides strong evidence that a more personalized approach to evaluating chest pain in women is more effective than the standard method. This approach not only eliminates the need for unnecessary testing but also reduces the risk of complications from those tests. If you are a woman who experiences chest pain, talk to your doctor about whether this new approach may be right for you.