The issue of women's health has long been neglected. This applies to many medical areas, but it has become most evident in the field of cardiology. For a long time, cardiology has been a medical specialty which seemed to be created for men, by men--particularly in research, but also in intensive clinical care units where male patients have been most visible and dominating. Furthermore, the clinical cardiologists--their doctors--have been predominantly male. It is easy to understand that most women think they will die from cancer rather than from heart disease, but this is not true. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women as it is for men. Female patients are frequently encountered in the cardiology department, but they are older and seem to get less visibility and attention than the male patients. Research on risk factors for heart disease has also been almost entirely focused on men. This is true for psychosocial/behavioral aspects of cardiovascular risk.
Aiming to fill this gap, this volume contains contributions from outstanding international and national researchers from different fields such as sociology, psychology, epidemiology, cardiology, clinical medicine, and physiology. These professionals gathered together for an interdisciplinary seminar on women, stress, and heart disease held at the Swedish Society of Medicine. Based on the seminar, this book provides a solid foundation for empirically based scientific conclusions on this important subject.