Objective: To study differences in treatment and early morbidity and mortality in relation to gender, type of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and age in patients under 80 years of age.
Methods: We studied 1744 consecutive patients with ACS with assumed decreasing order of severity [ST-elevation myocardial infarction (MI), non-ST-elevation MI and unstable angina of high- and low-risk types] admitted to the coronary care unit at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
Results: The use of thrombolysis and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) did not differ significantly between gender groups and women did not suffer from more severe complications than men. Treatment with beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and aspirin was used on a similar scale among women and men. In-hospital complications and use of intravenous drugs were strongly associated with severity of disease in a similar way among women and men. The mortality rates at 30 days were 12.4% and 7.4% in MI with and without ST-segment elevation, but only 1.3% and 1.0% in unstable angina of high- and low-risk types. The use of primary PCI decreased with age, as did coronary angiography and PCI in the subacute phase, irrespective of gender.
Conclusion: Among patients <80 years with ACS admitted to a coronary care unit, the suspicion that women are treated less aggressively than men could not be verified. Nor did women suffer from more complications or have a significantly higher 30-day mortality than men. Elderly patients were significantly less likely to undergo invasive procedures than those of a younger age, irrespective of gender.