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Evidence base for the management of women with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome

Abstract

According to the Global Burden of Disease study, in 2019, there were an estimated 275.2 million cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women worldwide. Although there was a decrease in the global age-standardised prevalence of CVD in women between 1990 and 2010 (–5.8%), there has been a slight increase (1.0%) since 2010. There were an estimated 6.10 million deaths from CVD in women in 1990, rising to 8.94 million in 2019. Hospital admissions of young women with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) steadily increased from 27% in 1995–1999 to 32% in 2010–2014. Women with AMI compared with men are less likely to receive guideline-indicated pharmacological (aspirin 93.4% vs 94.7%, P2Y12 inhibitors 79.3% vs 86.1% and statins 73.7% vs 77.5%) and revascularisation treatments (angiography (adjusted OR (aOR) 0.71), percutaneous coronary intervention (aOR 0.73)). Women represent <39% of clinical cardiovascular trial participants between 2010 and 2017. Major factors of under-representation in studies included concerns about the burden of participation on health and time. Women were more likely than men to document caring responsibilities as reasons for not participating in a clinical trial. Current clinical practice guidelines recommending risk stratification to guide the appropriateness of an invasive strategy in the context of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) may not be applicable to women given lack of studies specifically evaluating women using contemporary treatment strategies. In our review, we identify significant limitations in the evidence base for the best care of women with ACS, emphasising the need for well-designed clinical trials specifically recruiting women.

  • coronary angiography
  • coronary artery disease
  • acute coronary syndrome
  • atherosclerosis
  • myocardial infarction

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