Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Women are receiving less aggressive treatment for chest pain and heart attacks than men

11.11.2005


Difference in treatment causes women more ongoing heart problems



Women with one of a group of heart problems known as acute coronary syndromes (ACS) are almost one-third less likely to receive invasive treatments when compared with men with the same conditions, according to data from an international study of more than 12,000 people. Consequently, women are about one-sixth more likely than men to suffer additional chest pain or other recurrent heart problems, reports the new paper, to be published in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"The results of our study showed that women, especially high-risk women, aren’t receiving the recommended treatment for patients with acute coronary syndromes," said Sonia S. Anand, MD, PhD, FRCPc, associate professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and lead author of the paper. "All women should be considered for these types of procedures, as are men, when they come to the hospital with these conditions."


Dr. Anand, who holds the May Cohen Eli Lilly Chair in Women’s Health Research at McMaster, spoke today at the American Medical Association’s 24th annual Science Reporters Conference in Washington, D.C. She and her coauthors analyzed data from the Clopidogrel in Unstable Angina Evaluation (CURE) trial, a study of 4,836 women and 7,726 men with ACS, a group of conditions that includes angina, or chest pain, and certain types of heart attacks.

The patients, from 28 countries, were recruited between December 1998 and September 2000. Dr. Anand and her research team assessed their status when they were discharged, one month later, and then one to three more times at three-month intervals.

The problem started, Dr. Anand said, when women with ACS weren’t sent for diagnostic tests, such as coronary angiography, during which physicians use a catheter to inject dye into the arteries to identify blockages. Overall, 15 percent fewer women underwent angiography, and 20 percent fewer high-risk women than high-risk men had the test. "It wasn’t that once the disease was documented, physicians ignored women and didn’t send them to have operations--they did," Dr. Anand said. "But the initial trigger to send them for the catheterization was much lower for women compared to men."

Therefore, the rates of invasive procedures that generally follow angiography were also lower among women than men. Women were 35 percent less likely to undergo angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery, treatments that reopen blocked blood vessels or reroute blood through newly created arteries. "Even high-risk women received fewer procedures," Dr. Anand said. "Although there wasn’t a difference in their death, heart attack or stroke rates, we certainly found that women returned more often to the hospital complaining of chest discomfort over the nine months of follow-up. It may be that because they received fewer procedures and therefore interventions, they still have ongoing coronary disease."

The paper raises more questions than it answers about the causes of these gender differences, Dr. Anand said. "Maybe women refuse procedures more than men, maybe there is a bias that causes physicians to feel that men are high-risk so they should have procedures and not women, or maybe women have different chest pain symptoms than men," she said. "There are a lot of potential explanations as to why women wouldn’t get the same number of procedures."

Dr. Anand is working to find the root of the problem through several new studies, including an online survey of physicians who are presented with patient scenarios and asked to respond with a treatment plan. By observing whether physicians would treat identical patients differently depending on gender, she hopes to shed light on the issue of physician bias.

But women don’t have to wait for definitive answers to put this knowledge to use. Those who are at risk for or who already have cardiovascular disease--the number-one killer of women--should educate themselves about their treatment options, Dr. Anand said. "Women who develop acute coronary syndromes can ask their physicians if they are candidates for such procedures, as opposed to staying silent and leaving it up to the doctor to decide," she said.

Susan Emigh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ama-assn.org/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>