Background: The objective of this study was to compare treatment and outcome of acute myocardial infarction in women and men.
Methods: In this survey, patient hospital records were reviewed, and information about patient characteristics, treatments, and hospital events was entered in the Myocardial Infarction Triage and Intervention Registry. Between January 1988 and June 1990, a total of 4891 consecutive patients, including 1659 women, were hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction in 19 hospitals in the Seattle (Wash) metropolitan area. In-hospital thrombolytic therapy, coronary angiography, angioplasty, and bypass surgery were examined, as were in-hospital complications and death.
Results: Women were older and more often had histories previous hypertension and previous congestive heart failure. Thrombolytic therapy was used less often in women, although information about eligibility for treatment was not available to determine if this difference was due to treatment bias or differences in eligibility. Both coronary angiography and coronary angioplasty were used less frequently in women. However, of patients who had coronary angiography, equal proportions of women and men received angioplasty and/or coronary bypass surgery. Hospital mortality was 16% for women and 11% for men, although this difference was diminished by age adjustment. Mortality was higher in women undergoing bypass surgery, but this difference, too, was less apparent after age adjustment.
Conclusions: Despite high levels of risk factors and mortality, coronary angiography and angioplasty were used less often in women, although among those who underwent coronary angiography, there were no gender differences in the use of angioplasty or bypass surgery. Clearly, more needs to be known about decision making for coronary angiography, as this process seems to differ for women and men with acute myocardial infarction.