Heart Attacks more deadly for Women

Woman in pain - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - A new study found that women have a higher chance of dying from a heart attack (ST elevation myocardial infarction) than men. Dr Guillaume Leurent from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Rennes, France presented the study’s findings at the Acute Cardiac Care Congress 2012 meeting in Istanbul, Turkey this week. This is the first annual event hosted by the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA) for the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

The researchers found that women tended to have longer delays before being treated. The women suffering a heart attack were treated less aggressively, and there were more complications with longer hospital stays.

Previous research showed women having worse outcomes with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) events. So the French researchers decided to investigate whether there were any gender differences in the way they were treated.

The researchers used the ORBI registry (Observatoire Régional Breton sur l'Infarctus du myocarde; Brittany regional observational study on myocardial infarction) that had data on 5,000 STEMI patients. The ORBI registry has been ongoing since July 2006 and has recorded STEMI patients who were admitted to hospitals in the Brittany region of France within 24 hours of having heart attack symptoms.

Out of the 5,000 STEMI patients, they found 1,174 patients were women (23.5 percent). The women STEMI patients had an average age of 69, while the men’s average age was 61. The women had more hypertension, less dyslipidemia, and were less likely to be current smokers compared to the men.

Women would not call for medical assistance as fast as men would after the onset of symptoms. The women waited an average of 60 minutes versus 44 minutes for men. Women had an average 45-minute wait for admission and reperfusion compared to 40 minutes for men.

The death rate for women was higher. The intra-hospital death rate was 9 percent for women while men had a 4 percent mortality rate. The researchers also adjusted for other factors such as age, hypertension, and smoking to see if the rate was higher for all women. They found that with adjustments, women remained at a higher intra-hospital mortality rate than men.

STEMI complications were higher in women; 7 percent versus 3 percent with men typically suffering from atrial fibrillation. The women also stayed an average of 7.6+4 days versus 6.7+4 days for men.

Additionally, the researchers said that the women were given significantly less recommended treatments when they were discharged from the hospital. The treatments not being given to the women included antiplatelet agents, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, and statin medications. Cardiovascular rehabilitation was given to 27 percent of the women versus 47 percent of the men.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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