Women get half the number of heart attack treatments as men
14 October 2019 Lisa Jones
Women receive poorer heart attack treatment than men, even when rates of diagnosis are the same, according to new research we funded and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The clinical trial, led by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, sought to understand the impact of using the high sensitivity troponin blood test for heart attacks but with specific thresholds for men and women. This increased the number of women identified by 42 per cent – from 3,521 to 4,991 women out of a total of 22,562 women.
This increase meant a similar proportion of men and women were found to have a heart attack or injury to the heart muscle after going to the Emergency Department with chest pain (22 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men).
But the researchers found that, despite the improvement in diagnosis, women were about half as likely as men to receive recommended heart attack treatments. This included coronary revascularisation in which a stent is fitted (15 per cent versus 34 per cent), dual antiplatelet therapy (26 per cent versus 43 per cent) and preventative treatments including statins (16 per cent versus 26 per cent).
The improvement in diagnosis also did not lead to a decrease in the number of women who experienced another heart attack, or died from cardiovascular disease within a year.