ACS and STEMI treatment: gender-related issues

EuroIntervention. 2012 Aug;8 Suppl P:P27-35. doi: 10.4244/EIJV8SPA6.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death amongst women, with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) representing a significant proportion. It has been reported that in women presenting with ACS there is underdiagnosis and consequent undertreatment leading to an increase in hospital and long-term mortality. Several factors have to be taken into account, including lack of awareness both at patient and at physician level. Women are generally not aware of the cardiovascular risk and symptoms, often atypical, and therefore wait longer to seek medical attention. In addition, physicians often underestimate the risk of ACS in women leading to a further delay in accurate diagnosis and timely appropriate treatment, including cardiac catheterisation and primary percutaneous coronary intervention, with consequent delayed revascularisation times. It has been acknowledged by the European Society of Cardiology that gender disparities do exist, with a Class I, Level of Evidence B recommendation that both genders should be treated in the same way when presenting with ACS. However, there is still a lack of awareness and the mission of Women in Innovation, in association with Stent for Life, is to change the perception of women with ACS and to achieve prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / mortality
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy*
  • Awareness
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Myocardial Revascularization* / adverse effects
  • Myocardial Revascularization* / mortality
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Time-to-Treatment
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Women's Health*