Background: The objectives of this study were to investigate the relation between coronary risk factors, exercise testing parameters, and the presence of angiographically significant coronary artery disease (CAD) (> or =50% luminal stenosis) in female patients previously hospitalized for an acute CAD event.
Methods and results: All women younger than age 66 years in the greater Stockholm area in Sweden who were hospitalized for acute coronary syndromes during a 3-year period were recruited. Besides collection of clinical parameters, coronary angiography and a symptom-limited exercise test were performed in 228 patients 3 to 6 months after the index hospitalization. The mean age was 56 +/- 7 years. Angiographically nonsignificant CAD (stenosis <50%) was verified in 37% of the patients; significant CAD was found in 63%. The clinical parameters that showed the strongest relation with the presence of significant CAD after adjusting for age were history of myocardial infarction (odds ratio [OR] 4.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.35 to 7.49), history of diabetes mellitus (OR 3.83, 95% CI 1.63 to 14.31), serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol <1.4 mmol/L (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1. 20 to 3.72), and waist-to-hip ratio >0.85 (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.02 to 3. 10). A low exercise capacity and associated low change of rate-pressure product from rest to peak exercise were the only exercise testing parameters that were significantly related to angiographically verified significant CAD (<90% of the predicted maximal work capacity adjusted for age and weight, OR 1.91, 95% CI 1. 04 to 3.50).
Conclusions: In female patients recovering from unstable CAD, exercise capacity was the only exercise testing parameter of value in the prediction of significant CAD. The consideration of certain clinical characteristics and coronary risk factors offer better or complementary information when deciding on further coronary assessment.