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 New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>