Risk factor reduction after heart attack—age, race, and gender matter
Risk factor modification efforts could help reduce the chance of another heart attack and death among the more than 15 million Americans with coronary heart disease. Yet some patients—especially women and minorities—leave the hospital with poorly managed risk factors. An article in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, evaluates cardiac risk factors and management strategies by age, sex, and race among 2,369 patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website.
About 93% of the patients in the study had at least one of the five cardiac risk factors evaluated, including hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, current smoking, diabetes, and obesity. Black patients were much more likely to have multiple risk factors than white patients, and black women had the greatest risk factor burden of any of the subgroups. Differences in risk factor modification efforts based on race were also reported.
Erica Leifheit-Limson, PhD and coauthors from Yale School of Public Health and School of Medicine, and Yale-New Haven Hospital (New Haven, CT), St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute and University of Missouri-Kansas City (Kansas City, MO), and Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and the School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA) report the study results in the article "Prevalence of Traditional Cardiac Risk Factors and Secondary Prevention Among Patients Hospitalized for Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI): Variation by Age, Sex, and Race."
"These findings indicate missed opportunities for both prevention and management of cardiac risk factors, particularly for women and minority patients," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.