Young women who have heart attacks have poorer outcomes compared to men

A retrospective cohort study reported that young women who experience a heart attack are more likely to die over the following 11 years compared to young men.

Researchers analysed data of 404 women and 1692 men who had a first heart attack at an average age of 45 years and were treated at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in the US between 2000 and 2016.

There were no significant differences in hospital or heart-related deaths. However, a higher proportion of women died from all causes and non-heart-related causes. After adjusting for factors, women were reported to have a 1.6 fold increased risk of dying from any cause during the 11-year follow-up. Although both men and women who experienced a heart attack presented with similar symptoms, women were more likely to have diabetes and lower socioeconomic status.

Additionally, the study found that women were less likely to undergo invasive procedures following hospital admission due to a heart attack, or to be treated with certain medication such as aspirin, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers upon discharge.

Why it matters: The outcomes of heart attacks in the younger population is not a widely studied area. Gender differences revealed by this study highlight the need to address risk factors and increase awareness of heart disease within the community, especially among young women with comorbidities.

Source: European Heart Journal