Women get less aggressive care for heart condition


Women routinely receive less aggressive care for suspected heart conditions than men but survive just as well, an international study has found.

Women diagnosed with a type of heart condition known as acute coronary syndrome are a third less likely than men to get invasive treatment such as bypass surgery, according to the study in this month's Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Yet the study found no difference in rates of death, heart attack or stroke.

The result raises questions about why doctors approach care differently based on sex, said the lead author, Sonia Anand, an associate professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

"There are a lot of potential explanations as to why women wouldn't get the same number of procedures," including the possibility that doctors are biased or that women refuse the procedures more than men, Anand said.

Anand's team analyzed data from a study of 4,836 women and 7,726 men with conditions that included angina, chest pain and certain types of heart attacks. The participants, from 28 countries, were recruited from December 1998 to September 2000.

Their analysis found that 15 percent fewer female patients were sent by doctors for diagnostic tests, such as coronary angiography.

Women were also 35 percent less likely to undergo invasive angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.