Younger age potentiates post myocardial infarction survival disadvantage of women

Int J Cardiol. 2006 Apr 14;108(3):320-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2005.05.016. Epub 2005 Jun 15.


Background: Female patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) exhibit higher unadjusted in-hospital mortality rates compared to male patients. However, contradictory evidence exists on whether this survival disadvantage disappears after adjustment for age and other prognostic factors. This study, based on a countrywide survey of consecutive unselected patients with acute MI, examined whether female gender is an independent predictor of poor short-term outcome and less intensive in-hospital treatment.

Methods: Data on a total of 7433 patients were analyzed.

Results: The mean age was 64+/-13 years and the proportion of females in this population was 23%. Univariate and multivariate predictors of in-hospital mortality in female patients were estimated. Unadjusted in-hospital mortality rates of women were significantly higher compared to men (17.7 vs. 8.6, p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, female gender was an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality in the total population [relative risk (RR)=1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.02-1.64, p=0.036]. The RR of women for in-hospital death was exaggerated among younger patients, aged <55 years (RR=3.84, 95% CI=1.07-13.74, p=0.039). Female gender was also independently and inversely associated with administration of thrombolytic treatment (RR=0.724, 95% CI=0.630-0.831, p=<0.001).

Conclusion: Although female gender is an independent predictor of higher post-MI in-hospital mortality with a pronounced effect among younger patients, women are less likely to receive thrombolysis than men. Based on the results from this countrywide study, we should consider women, especially of younger age, as patients at particular high risk, who contrary to common practice, deserve more intensive and aggressive in-hospital treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality*
  • Sex Factors
  • Thrombolytic Therapy