Gender differences in acute coronary syndrome: invasive versus conservative approach

Cardiol Rev. 2006 Nov-Dec;14(6):299-302. doi: 10.1097/01.crd.0000240901.89437.b8.


Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is common in women, yet we have less sex-specific data in women than in men as a result of lower enrollment in clinical trials and low rates of sex-specific reporting. Women are generally older with more comorbidities when diagnosed with ACS. Women with ACS are less likely than men to be referred for invasive evaluation and procedures and are more likely to have normal coronary arteries when they are referred for coronary angiography. For reasons that are not well understood, women have higher rates of bleeding complications compared with men. This higher bleeding rate is consistently seen in many trials. There are 3 major randomized, controlled trials that compared early invasive therapy with conservative strategy for ACS. Two of these trials found higher rates of myocardial infarction (MI) and death at 1 year in women treated with early invasive strategy, whereas the third trial found a reduction in the composite end point of rehospitalization, MI, and death at 180 days in women treated with early invasive strategy. Sex differences have also been seen in glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa use in women with an increase in death and MI noted for GP use in women with ACS. Continued and increased numbers of women in clinical studies of ACS as well as increased rates of sex-specific reporting will allow us to offer optimal quality care for women and men with ACS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Coronary Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Revascularization / adverse effects
  • Myocardial Revascularization / mortality
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex