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article imageGender differences with heart attack survival rates

By Tim Sandle     Apr 3, 2016 in Health
A global review of gender disparities among patients in relation to heart attack survival has shown that women have double the mortality rate of men.
The study looked at one serious type of heart disease called ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). This disease occurs when blood flow stops to a part of the heart causing damage to the heart muscle.
Because medical reports suggested that survival rates from women were lower than men, in relation to this particular type of heart attack, a research group undertook a detailed international study. This was in the form of a meta-data analysis where information was drawn from published medical reports. The review encompassed studies of more than 700,000 patients in 29 counties and six geographic regions.
The data was sorted for patient characteristics, treatment times, and mortality at multiple points in time (such as in-hospital and following discharge.) From this there were two key findings:
First, women in all countries studied experienced a mean delay of 5.3 minutes from hospital presentation to restoration of blood flow to the heart, which is important because minimizing treatment time is key for survival.
Second, women in all regions have double the in-hospital mortality rate of men. Here women’s overall mortality rate is 70 percent higher.
The implications of the research are that there is a pressing need for a coordinated international effort to reduce this gender gap. Lead researcher Hyon Jae Lee said in a research note that her study "highlights that there is a gender discrepancy between men and women in mortality outcomes."
Going forwards will be difficult, Lee admits, for she added: "Once we have that data, it will take concerted effort to disperse the information to the medical community and increase awareness."
The research was carried out at Yale University. The data has yet to be published, but it will be presented at the 65th Annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Session & Expo in Chicago, which starts on April 4, 2016.
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