Evidence shows that women are not getting medications which could prevent heart failure, even when they develop earlier heart problems.

That may be because coronary heart disease, which often leads to heart failure, causes more confusing symptoms in women. While men often get chest pain spreading down their left arm, women have less obvious symptoms such as nausea and back pain.

Dr Sanne Peters, who co-authored the study, published in journal Diabetologia, said: “Some major concerns are that women are also being undertreated for diabetes, are not taking the same levels of medications as men and are less likely to receive intensive care.”