Women have worse chances after a heart attack

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Women have worse chances after a heart attack
Women have worse chances after a heart attack

Women have worse chances after heart attack

Compared to men after a heart attack, women have a 14 to 73 percent higher risk of death within the first 35 days after the life-threatening acute illness, depending on the analysis method. This was the result of a new analysis of the international ISIS-3 study (International Study on Survival after a Heart Attack). 9,600 female and 26,480 male heart attack patients took part in the study. Ultimately, this should clarify the best strategy for treating patients with a fresh heart attack.

In the spring of 1996 (The Lancet, May 3, 1996) an initial evaluation of apparently disadvantaged groups of patients revealed that 20 percent of the patients in Europe had not received the most modern therapy available: drugs to resolve the blood clots in the coronary arteries that have occurred during an infarction. In the female patients, this treatment was used too rarely by 31 percent. Among seniors between the ages of 65 and 74, the frequency of this therapy was even 45 percent below the average.

With a new evaluation now published in the American New England Journal of Medicine (January 1, 1998), the question is analyzed in terms of gender. This time it was about determining the death rate within 35 days after the infarction. The results:

– According to the raw data, female heart attack patients had a 73 percent greater risk of death compared to males during the observation period.

– However, the patients in the study were older on average. If one eliminated the influence of age by statistical tricks, the mortality rate for women with a heart attack was 20 percent higher than for men.

– If the analysis also took into account the differences between male and female patients according to additional medical criteria, the increased risk of death in women after a heart attack was reduced to 14 percent.

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