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      Gender Differences in Patients Admitted to a Certified German Chest Pain Unit: Results from the German Chest Pain Unit Registry


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          Introduction: Gender-specific atypical clinical presentation in acute coronary syndrome and sex-specific outcomes in cardiovascular disease in women are well known. The aim of this study is to analyze possible differences between men and women presenting to certified German chest pain units (CPUs). Methods: Data from 13,900 patients derived from the German CPU registry were analyzed for gender differences in patient characteristics, cardiovascular disease manifestation, critical time intervals, treatment and prognosis. Results: A total of 37.8% of patients were female. Typical chest pain occurred more frequently in men, while atypical symptoms occurred more frequently in women. Female gender was associated with longer pre- and in-hospital time delays. Women were more often diagnosed with a nonischemic origin of pain. In a 3-month follow-up, there was no gender-specific difference in combined major adverse coronary and cerebrovascular events. Discussion/Conclusion: This study points out gender-specific differences in prehospital time intervals and a significantly higher percentage of atypical symptoms in suspected myocardial ischemia as well as more noncoronary diagnoses in women. Symptom awareness and a broader diagnostic workup in women are essential.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Women and ischemic heart disease: evolving knowledge.

          Evolving knowledge regarding sex differences in coronary heart disease is emerging. Given the lower burden of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) and preserved systolic function in women, which contrasts with greater rates of myocardial ischemia and near-term mortality compared with men, we propose the term "ischemic heart disease" as appropriate for this discussion specific to women rather than CAD or coronary heart disease (CHD). This paradoxical difference, where women have lower rates of anatomical CAD but more symptoms, ischemia, and adverse outcomes, appears linked to abnormal coronary reactivity that includes microvascular dysfunction. Novel risk factors can improve the Framingham risk score, including inflammatory markers and reproductive hormones, as well as noninvasive imaging and functional capacity measurements. Risk for women with obstructive CAD is increased compared with men, yet women are less likely to receive guideline-indicated therapies. In the setting of non-ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction, interventional strategies are equally effective in biomarker-positive women and men, whereas conservative management is indicated for biomarker-negative women. For women with evidence of ischemia but no obstructive CAD, antianginal and anti-ischemic therapies can improve symptoms, endothelial function, and quality of life; however, trials evaluating impact on adverse outcomes are needed. We hypothesize that women experience more adverse outcomes compared with men because obstructive CAD remains the current focus of therapeutic strategies. Continued research is indicated to devise therapeutic regimens to improve symptom burden and reduce risk in women with ischemic heart disease.
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            Association of age and sex with myocardial infarction symptom presentation and in-hospital mortality.

            Women are generally older than men at hospitalization for myocardial infarction (MI) and also present less frequently with chest pain/discomfort. However, few studies have taken age into account when examining sex differences in clinical presentation and mortality. To examine the relationship between sex and symptom presentation and between sex, symptom presentation, and hospital mortality, before and after accounting for age in patients hospitalized with MI. Observational study from the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction, 1994-2006, of 1,143,513 registry patients (481,581 women and 661,932 men). We examined predictors of MI presentation without chest pain and the relationship between age, sex, and hospital mortality. The proportion of MI patients who presented without chest pain was significantly higher for women than men (42.0% [95% CI, 41.8%-42.1%] vs 30.7% [95% CI, 30.6%-30.8%]; P < .001). There was a significant interaction between age and sex with chest pain at presentation, with a larger sex difference in younger than older patients, which became attenuated with advancing age. Multivariable adjusted age-specific odds ratios (ORs) for lack of chest pain for women (referent, men) were younger than 45 years, 1.30 (95% CI, 1.23-1.36); 45 to 54 years, 1.26 (95% CI, 1.22-1.30); 55 to 64 years, 1.24 (95% CI, 1.21-1.27); 65 to 74 years, 1.13 (95% CI, 1.11-1.15); and 75 years or older, 1.03 (95% CI, 1.02-1.04). Two-way interaction (sex and age) on MI presentation without chest pain was significant (P < .001). The in-hospital mortality rate was 14.6% for women and 10.3% for men. Younger women presenting without chest pain had greater hospital mortality than younger men without chest pain, and these sex differences decreased or even reversed with advancing age, with adjusted OR for age younger than 45 years, 1.18 (95% CI, 1.00-1.39); 45 to 54 years, 1.13 (95% CI, 1.02-1.26); 55 to 64 years, 1.02 (95% CI, 0.96-1.09); 65 to 74 years, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.88-0.95); and 75 years or older, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.79-0.83). The 3-way interaction (sex, age, and chest pain) on mortality was significant (P < .001). In this registry of patients hospitalized with MI, women were more likely than men to present without chest pain and had higher mortality than men within the same age group, but sex differences in clinical presentation without chest pain and in mortality were attenuated with increasing age.
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              Gender in cardiovascular diseases: impact on clinical manifestations, management, and outcomes.


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2020
                11 August 2020
                : 145
                : 9
                : 562-569
                aDepartment of Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, West German Heart and Vascular Center Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
                bInstitute for Myocardial Infarction Research Foundation, Ludwigshafen, Germany
                cCardioangiologisches Centrum Bethanien, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
                dDepartment of Cardiology, University Medical Center Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
                e3rd Department of Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
                Author notes
                *Frank Breuckmann, Department of Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, University Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstrasse 55, DE–45147 Essen (Germany), frank.breuckmann@uk-essen.de
                509276 Cardiology 2020;145:562–569
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 4, Pages: 8
                CAD and AMI: Research Article


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