Women more likely to die in hospital from severe heart attack than men

December 9th, 2008 - 4:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 9 (ANI): Women are more likely than men to die in hospital from severe heart attack, according to a new study.
A recent study showed that among patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the death rate was 10.2 for women compared to 5.5 for men.
Researchers said the women were older and had higher overall baseline risk profiles than men. After adjustment for these and other differences, women with STEMI had a 12 percent higher relative risk for in-hospital death compared to men.
The study also found that some recommended treatments are delayed and underused in women.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from the American Heart Association’’s Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) program to determine if recent efforts to improve heart attack care at hospitals had closed the gender disparity gap.
They reviewed the clinical characteristics, treatments and outcomes of more than 78,000 patients diagnosed with myocardial infarction admitted to 420 hospitals between 2001 and 2006.
“The finding that bears the most emphasis is that among both men and women presenting to Get With The Guidelines participating hospitals, there were no clinically meaningful differences in in-hospital survival after heart attack, once we factored in differences, such as age and other existing illnesses,” said Hani Jneid, M.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
A decade ago, women had an overall higher death rate after heart attack compared with men. This suggests that these hospitals are now using high rates of evidence-based therapies shown to increase survival after heart attack.
“However, the finding of persistently higher death rates among women experiencing the more severe type of heart attack (STEMI) and the persistent gender gap in certain aspects of care underscore the existing opportunities to enhance post-heart attack care among women,” Jneid said.
During the study, the researchers found that, compared to men, women were 14 percent less likely to receive early aspirin; 10 percent less likely to receive beta blockers; 25 percent less likely to receive reperfusion therapy (to restore blood flow); 22 percent less likely to receive reperfusion therapy within 30 minutes of hospital arrival; and 13 percent less likely to receive angioplasty within 90 minutes of hospital arrival.
“We could not determine in this study to which extent these differences were due to physicians” failures to administer optimal therapies to women vs. appropriate decision-making based on biological and other differences between men and women,” Jneid said.
Also, researchers found that women admitted with a STEMI were about twice as likely to die in the first 24 hours of hospitalization as men.
The study is published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. (ANI)

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