Acute myocardial infarction: difference in the treatment between men and women

Qual Assur Health Care. 1993 Sep;5(3):261-5. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/5.3.261.


During the last decade, treatment of myocardial infarction has changed and the prognosis dramatically improved. A sex bias in considering revascularization in men and women with coronary heart disease has been reported. The influence of gender on treatment given to patients with an acute myocardial infarction has not been investigated. From 1989 to 1991 there were 1515 patients with acute myocardial infarction admitted to the coronary care unit at Ostra Hospital; 67% were men. Pharmacological treatment limiting infarct size was given to 60% of all women and to 67% of all men; p < 0.05. In addition, coronary angiography during the hospital stay was performed in 0.2% of all women vs 1.9% of all men; p < 0.05. The prevalence of diabetes, age, symptoms or prehospital delay cannot explain these findings. While a sex bias in referring patients for revascularization has been reported, this report also describes a possible sex bias in the pharmacological treatment of acute myocardial infarction.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Aged
  • Cardiotonic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hospitals, University / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Nitroglycerin / administration & dosage
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Prejudice
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden
  • Women's Health Services / standards*


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Nitroglycerin