Socioeconomic disparities in cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes exist among women, particularly those of minority racial or ethnic backgrounds. Barriers to optimal cardiovascular health begin early in life-with inadequate access to effective contraception, postpartum follow-up, and maternity leave-and result in excess rates of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death in at-risk populations. Contributing factors include reduced access to care, low levels of income and social support, and lack of diversity among cardiology clinicians and within clinical trials. These barriers can be mitigated by optimizing care access via policy change and improving physical access to care in women with geographic or transportation limitations. Addressing structural racism through policy change and bolstering structured community support systems will be key to reducing adverse cardiovascular outcomes among women of racial and ethnic minorities. Diversification of the cardiology workforce to more closely represent the patients we serve will be beneficial to all women.
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