Time trends in STEMI -- improved treatment and outcome but gender gap persists

August 29, 2011

In spite of an increased attention to gender differences in treatment of myocardial infarctions, focus on adherence to guidelines and a change in predominant therapy, the gender difference in treatment and mortality regarding the big infarctions – STEMI – has not diminished from 1998-2000 to 2004-2006. For some therapies, it has actually increased.

In case of STEMI, a coronary artery is completely occluded and acute opening of the artery is therefore the most important treatment. This so called reperfusion treatment can be done in two different ways – with fibrinolytic drugs or via coronary artery catheterisation with primary percutaneous coronary intervention, PCI. Historically, treatment with fibrinolytics has dominated, but since the beginning of the 21th century, primary PCI has become the preferred treatment. Studies from the fibrinolytic era found in outcome, including a higher risk of bleeding and death in women than in men, and women got less reperfusion therapy during that time. Our hypothesis was that the previously found gender difference in reperfusion therapy rate would have diminished since the shift from fibrinolytics to primary PCI.

In our study, a total of 30077 STEMI patients were admitted during two inclusion periods, 15697 (35% women) in 1998-2000 when fibrinolytics was the dominating reperfusion therapy and 14380 (35% women) in 2004-2006 when primary PCI was the dominating reperfusion therapy. Among patients treated with reperfusion therapy, 9% were treated with primary PCI in the early period, compared to 68% in the late period. Mean age was the same in the two time periods.

We found that the in reperfusion treatment has not diminished between the early and the late periods – instead it increased. In the early period, 70.9% of the men compared to 63.1% of the women, were treated with reperfusion therapy. The corresponding figures in the late period were 75.3% of the men and 63.6% of the women. After adjustment for women's higher age and co-morbidity, they still had 20% less chance of getting this therapy in the late time period.

Also, all other evidence-based therapies were prescribed more rarely to women in both time episodes and the gender gap has actually increased between the periods regarding some therapies, to the disadvantage of women. Neither had the gender gap in outcome diminished between the early and the late time episodes.

In conclusion, to our surprise and in spite of the gender debate and focus on adherence to guidelines in the last decade, the treatment gender gap did not diminish between these two time periods – it in fact increased.

Neither did the gender difference in outcome diminish. As the RIKS-HIA register includes all patients cared for at CCUs in Sweden, we are confident that we can draw firm conclusions about gender differences in the European STEMI population in general. We have shown that to guidelines needs to be increased in women with STEMI which could probably improve their prognosis.

Explore further: Most heart-attack patients needing procedure at another hospital not transferred in recommended time

Related Stories

Most heart-attack patients needing procedure at another hospital not transferred in recommended time

June 21, 2011
Only about 10 percent of patients with a certain type of heart attack who need to be transferred to another hospital for a PCI (procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries) ...

Recommended for you

Hormone therapy in the menopause transition did not increase stroke risk

November 24, 2017
Postmenopausal hormone therapy is not associated with increased risk of stroke, provided that it is started early, according to a report from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Low-salt and heart-healthy dash diet as effective as drugs for some adults with high blood pressure

November 22, 2017
A study of more than 400 adults with prehypertension, or stage 1 high blood pressure, found that combining a low-salt diet with the heart-healthy DASH diet substantially lowers systolic blood pressure—the top number in ...

Stroke patients may have more time to get treatment, study finds

November 22, 2017
Patients and doctors long have relied on a simple rule of thumb for seeking care after an ischemic stroke: "Time is brain."

Cases of heart failure continue to rise; poorest people worst affected

November 22, 2017
The number of people being diagnosed with heart failure in the UK continues to rise as a result of demographic changes common to many developed countries, new research by The George Institute for Global Health at the University ...

Some cancer therapies may provide a new way to treat high blood pressure

November 20, 2017
Drugs designed to halt cancer growth may offer a new way to control high blood pressure (hypertension), say Georgetown University Medical Center investigators. The finding could offer a real advance in hypertension treatment ...

Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?

November 17, 2017
The buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries is an unfortunate part of aging. But by studying the genetic makeup of people who maintain clear arteries into old age, researchers led by UNC's Jonathan Schisler, PhD, have identified ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ArtflDgr
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2011
i am looking for work in china and perhaps south asia...
i am a white male, and am slated for negative action by my government for being a smart white male from bronx science. my existence and movement has to be prevented, or else the numbers on reports wont be waht they want them to be.

dr mengele was a social engineer that wanted to improve outcomes and was willing to do things to people to get them.

no different... as the only way to do this, is to do what they did to me... take away the money... and they can only do that to poor people like i was as a child in the inner city slums of ny...

the germans used to claim that the volk were being cheated by the jewish people who were 14 percent of the public, but had 40% of the businesses...

this resulted in the murder of my family and others for disparate impacts...

my family fled oppression to be designated and slated for similar ends... china is a lot less racist, as is indonesia and such..

you can enjoy the soviet living

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.