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      Age and Sex Differences in the Treatment of Patients with Initial Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Community-Wide Perspective

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          Purpose: The goal of this observational study was to examine overall and age-specific differences between women and men in the use of five beneficial cardiac medications in patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) from a community-wide perspective. The objectives of our study were to determine whether women are treated differently than men and whether age acts as a potential effect modifier of any observed associations. Subjects: A total of 2,461 women and 3,454 men with validated AMI comprised the study sample. Methods: Our study was an observational investigation of metropolitan Worcester (Mass., USA) residents who were hospitalized with initial AMI in all area hospitals during 12 1-year periods between 1975 and 1999. Four age-specific subgroups (<55, 55–64, 65–74 and ≧75 years) were studied. Results: Differences in the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, aspirin, β-blockers, lipid-lowering medications and thrombolytic agents during hospitalization for AMI were examined. The results of a multivariable regression analysis indicated that women were significantly less likely to receive aspirin and ACE inhibitors as compared to men. There were no significant gender differences in the prescribing of the other cardiac medications. Increasing age in both women and men was associated with a reduced likelihood of receiving effective cardiac therapies including aspirin, β-blockers, lipid-lowering therapy and thrombolytic agents. Conclusions: These data suggest that the reasons for the marked age-related differences, in men and women, in the use of cardiac medications be more systematically explored. Previously observed gender differences in the management of patients with AMI essentially no longer exist.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Cardiovascular health and disease in women.

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            Treatment of acute myocardial infarction and 30-day mortality among women and men.

            Previous studies have suggested that women with acute myocardial infarction receive less aggressive therapy than men. We used data from the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project to determine whether women and men who were ideal candidates for therapy after acute myocardial infarction were treated differently. Information was abstracted from the charts of 138,956 Medicare beneficiaries (49 percent of them women) who had an acute myocardial infarction in 1994 or 1995. Multivariate analysis was used to assess differences between women and men in the medications administered, the procedures used, the assignment of do-not-resuscitate status, and 30-day mortality. Among ideal candidates for therapy, women in all age groups were less likely to undergo diagnostic catheterization than men. The difference was especially pronounced among older women; for a woman 85 years of age or older, the adjusted relative risk was 0.75 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 0.83). Women were somewhat less likely than men to receive thrombolytic therapy within 60 minutes (adjusted relative risk, 0.93; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.90 to 0.96) or to receive aspirin within 24 hours after arrival at the hospital (adjusted relative risk, 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.95 to 0.97), but they were equally likely to receive beta-blockers (adjusted relative risk, 0.99; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.95 to 1.03) and somewhat more likely to receive angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (adjusted relative risk, 1.05; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.08). Women were more likely than men to have a do-not-resuscitate order in their records (adjusted relative risk, 1.26; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.22 to 1.29). After adjustment, women and men had similar 30-day mortality rates (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.04). As compared with men, women receive somewhat less aggressive treatment during the early management of acute myocardial infarction. However, many of these differences are small, and there is no apparent effect on early mortality.
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              Temporal trends in cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction.

              Limited information is available on trends in the incidence of and mortality due to cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction. We studied the incidence of cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction and in-hospital death rates among patients with this condition in a single community from 1975 through 1997. We conducted an observational study of 9076 residents of metropolitan Worcester, Massachusetts, who were hospitalized with confirmed acute myocardial infarction in all local hospitals during 11 one-year periods between 1975 and 1997. Our study included periods before and after the advent of reperfusion therapy. The incidence of cardiogenic shock remained relatively stable over time, averaging 7.1 percent among patients with acute myocardial infarction. The results of a multivariable regression analysis indicated that the patients hospitalized during recent study years were not at a substantially lower risk for shock than patients hospitalized in the mid-to-late 1970s. Patients in whom cardiogenic shock developed had a significantly greater risk of dying during hospitalization (71.7 percent) than those who did not have cardiogenic shock (12.0 percent, P<0.001). A significant trend toward an increase in in-hospital survival among patients with cardiogenic shock in the mid-to-late 1990s was found in crude and adjusted analyses. Our findings indicate no significant change in the incidence of cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction over a 23-year period. However, the short-term survival rate has increased in recent years at the same time as the use of coronary reperfusion strategies has increased.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                February 2003
                24 February 2003
                : 99
                : 1
                : 39-46
                Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass., USA
                68445 Cardiology 2003;99:39–46
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 3, References: 26, Pages: 8
                Coronary Care


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