Young women who have had heart attacks have worse health outcomes than young men, a new study shows.
Researchers tracked over 230,000 hospitalizations of patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) between 30 and 54 years of age from 2001 to 2010.
Researchers searched for age-and gender-based differences in hospitalization rates and patient outcomes after hospitalization following AMI based on age and gender.
Although hospitalization rates are higher for men than for women, hospitalized women have longer lengths of stay, more comorbidities (the appearance of multiple diseases), and higher in-hospital mortality rates than men, says Aakriti Gupta, resident at Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The study also shows that between 2001 and 2010, the hospitalization rate for AMI remained constant for both genders, while hospitalization rates for older patients dropped 20 percent.
“It is concerning that hospitalization rates for heart attack in the young have not shown any reduction, suggesting that lack of awareness and poorer control of cardiovascular risk factors—including diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking may be responsible,” Gupta says.
Harlan Krumholz, director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, and colleagues are now working to identify the gender-specific biological, clinical, and social factors underlying the higher risks associated with heart attack in younger women. The work is part of a larger research project known as Variation in Recovery: Role of Gender on Outcomes in Young AMI Patients (VIRGO).
In the meantime, Gupta suggests that physicians and other health care professionals inform the patients, policy makers, and the public about cardiovascular risk factors, and direct resources toward younger patients to reduce AMI hospitalization rates.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute supported the research.
Source: Yale University