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      Gender Gap in Coronary Artery Disease: Comparison of the Extent, Severity and Risk Factors in Men and Women Aged 45–65 Years

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          This retrospective study aimed to characterize coronary artery disease (CAD) and its risk factors among relatively young women, as compared to men in a similar age group. Confirmed cases of CAD were compared regarding their medical background, performance and outcome of coronary artery procedures, physical profile and lifestyle information. The study population included 179 women and 270 men aged 45–65 years who were hospitalized during the study period 1990–1995 in the Hadassah Medical Centers. Significantly more women presented with histories of prior myocardial infarction and a higher number of vessels occluded by 80% or more and required percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty for 3 or more arteries, and the women had a higher incidence of risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia than their male counterparts.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Effects of estrogen replacement on the progression of coronary-artery atherosclerosis.

          Heart disease is a major cause of illness and death in women. To understand better the role of estrogen in the treatment and prevention of heart disease, more information is needed about its effects on coronary atherosclerosis and the extent to which concomitant progestin therapy may modify these effects. We randomly assigned a total of 309 women with angiographically verified coronary disease to receive 0.625 mg of conjugated estrogen per day, 0.625 mg of conjugated estrogen plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate per day, or placebo. The women were followed for a mean (+/-SD) of 3.2+/-0.6 years. Base-line and follow-up coronary angiograms were analyzed by quantitative coronary angiography. Estrogen and estrogen plus medroxyprogesterone acetate produced significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (9.4 percent and 16.5 percent, respectively) and significant increases in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (18.8 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively); however, neither treatment altered the progression of coronary atherosclerosis. After adjustment for measurements at base line, the mean (+/-SE) minimal coronary-artery diameters at follow-up were 1.87+/-0.02 mm, 1.84+/-0.02 mm, and 1.87+/-0.02 mm in women assigned to estrogen, estrogen plus medroxyprogesterone acetate, and placebo, respectively. The differences between the values for the two active-treatment groups and the value for the placebo group were not significant. Analyses of several secondary angiographic outcomes and subgroups of women produced similar results. The rates of clinical cardiovascular events were also similar among the treatment groups. Neither estrogen alone nor estrogen plus medroxyprogesterone acetate affected the progression of coronary atherosclerosis in women with established disease. These results suggest that such women should not use estrogen replacement with an expectation of cardiovascular benefit.
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            Cardiovascular health and disease in women.

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              The exclusion of the elderly and women from clinical trials in acute myocardial infarction.

               N Col,  J Avorn,  J Gurwitz (1992)
              To determine the extent to which the elderly have been excluded from trials of drug therapies used in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction, to identify factors associated with such exclusions, and to explore the relationship between the exclusion of elderly and the representation of women. We conducted a systematic search of the English-language literature from January 1960 through September 1991 to identify all relevant studies of specific pharmacotherapies employed in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction. To accomplish this, we searched MEDLINE, major cardiology textbooks, meta-analyses, reviews, editorials, and the bibliographies of all identified articles. Only trials in which patients were randomly allocated to receive a specific therapeutic regimen or a placebo or nonplacebo control regimen were included for review. Studies were abstracted for year of publication, source of support, performance location, drug therapies to which patients were randomized, use of invasive diagnostic tests or therapeutic procedures, exclusion criteria, size and demographic characteristics of the randomized study population, and principal outcome measures. A total of 214 trials met inclusion criteria, involving 150,920 study subjects. Over 60% of trials excluded persons over the age of 75 years. Studies published after 1980 were more likely to have age-based exclusions compared with studies published before 1980 (adjusted odds ratio, 4.92; 95% confidence interval, 2.33 to 10.54). Trials of thrombolytic therapy involving an invasive procedure were more likely to exclude elderly patients compared with other studies (adjusted odds ratio, 2.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.10 to 5.47). Studies with age-based exclusions had a smaller percentage of women compared with those without such exclusions (18% vs 23%; P = .0002), with the mean age of the study population significantly associated with the proportion of women participants (P = .0001, R2 = .29). Age-based exclusions are frequently used in clinical trials of medications used in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction. Such exclusions limit the ability to generalize study findings to the patient population that experiences the most morbidity and mortality from acute myocardial infarction.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                March 2002
                07 March 2002
                : 97
                : 1
                : 18-23
                Departments of aObstetrics and Gynecology and bInternal Medicine, Hadassah University Hospital at Mt. Scopus, cSchool of Public Health, dDepartment of Cardiology, Hadassah University Hospital at Ein Karem, Jerusalem, Israel
                47414 Cardiology 2002;97:18–23
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 46, Pages: 6
                General Cardiology


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