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Gender differences in management and outcome in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome

Abstract

Objective: To study gender differences in management and outcome in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome.

Design, setting and patients: Cohort study of 53 781 consecutive patients (37% women) from the Register of Information and Knowledge about Swedish Heart Intensive care Admissions (RIKS-HIA), with a diagnosis of either unstable angina pectoris or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction. All patients were admitted to intensive coronary care units in Sweden, between 1998 and 2002, and followed for 1 year.

Main outcome measures: Treatment intensity and in-hospital, 30-day and 1-year mortality.

Results: Women were older (73 vs 69 years, p<0.001) and more likely to have a history of hypertension and diabetes, but less likely to have a history of myocardial infarction or revascularisation. After adjustment, there were no major differences in acute pharmacological treatment or prophylactic medication at discharge.

Revascularisation was, however, even after adjustment, performed more often in men (OR 1.15; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.21). After adjustment, there was no significant difference in in-hospital (OR 1.03; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.13) or 30-days (OR 1.07; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.15) mortality, but at 1 year being male was associated with higher mortality (OR 1.12; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.19).

Conclusion: Although women are somewhat less intensively treated, especially regarding invasive procedures, after adjustment for differences in background characteristics, they have better long-term outcomes than men.

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