-- Alan Mozes
THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Gender does not appear to
have any impact on the risk of dying following a severe heart
attack, new research indicates.
The study authors observed that female heart attack patients who
undergo in-hospital procedures such an angioplasty are, in fact,
more likely to subsequently die than male patients.
However, they suggest that the additional risk is not a function
of gender, but rather of the fact that women are generally older
than their male counterparts and are burdened with more
complicating health issues at the time of treatment.
"When we adjusted for factors such as age and comorbidities like hypertension and diabetes, women had similar mortality rates at the time of the heart attack as men," lead author Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, said in a news release.
Jackson and her colleagues reported their findings in the
current issue of the
American Heart Journal.
The authors noted that women make up about a third of patients
who undergo procedures necessary to unclog arteries involved in the
onset of heart attacks. And they point out that, according to the
American Heart Association, heart disease is responsible for nearly
double the amount of deaths among American women than all cancers
combined, including breast cancer.
To explore death rates among such patients, the team focused on
about 8,800 patients undergoing treatment for ST-elevation
myocardial infarction, or STEMI, a severe heart attack.
While gender was not implicated in a higher risk of death among
treated women, the authors found that female patients do face a
higher risk of experiencing the kind of post-treatment bleeding
that prompts vascular complications or results in the need for a
For more on heart disease and gender, visit the
Women's Heart Foundation.
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