Background: Direct angioplasty (PTCA) and thrombolytic therapy are the chief therapies for treating an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (MI).
Objective: This study was designed to evaluate sex differences in the relative benefit of direct PTCA versus thrombolytic therapy among patients enrolled in the Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Arteries in Acute Coronary Syndromes Angioplasty (GUSTO II-B PTCA) Substudy.
Methods: Women and men presenting with an acute ST-segment elevation MI were randomized to receive either direct PTCA or accelerated tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). Patients were then randomized to treatment with either heparin or bivalirudin. A gender analysis of outcome was performed.
Results: Women were older than men (68.6 +/- 11.5 vs 59.5 +/- 12.0 years, P <.001) and were more likely to have diabetes (22.5% vs 13.5%, P <.0001) and hypertension (53.3% vs 34.8%, P =.001). After adjusting for differences in baseline variables, the odds ratio (OR) for reaching a 30-day clinical end point (death, nonfatal infarction, or nonfatal disabling stroke) was similar for women and men (1.35, 95% CI 0.88-2.08). The OR for reaching a clinical end point at 30 days for the PTCA-treated women compared with the t-PA-treated women was 0.685 (95% CI 0.36-1.32) and similar to the OR in men, 0.565 (95% CI 0.35-0.91), P for interaction =.535. Because women had a higher event rate than men, the absolute number of major events prevented when treating women with direct PTCA was higher than men (56 events/1000 women treated with PTCA vs 42 events per 1000 men treated with PTCA).
Conclusions: Although the relative benefit of direct PTCA to t-PA for the treatment of an acute MI appears to be similar in women and men, women may derive a larger absolute benefit from direct PTCA.