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Women have Worst Outcomes from a Heart Attack than Men

Update Date: Aug 22, 2014 01:38 PM EDT

Heart attacks affect men and women differently, a new study reported. The researchers from the Yale School of Medicine found that women have worst health outcomes post heart attack in comparison to men.

In this study headed by Dr. Harlam Krumholz, the director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, the researchers monitored over 230,000 cases of hospitalized patients who suffered from an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) between 2001 and 2010. The patients were between the ages of 30 and 54. The team focused on age- and sex-based differences in the hospitalization rates and patient outcomes post discharge.

Overall, the researchers found that the hospitalization rates were higher in men than in women. However, women tended to stay at the hospital for a longer period of time than men and had more comorbidities, which is when more than one disease is happening at a time. Due to these factors, women had a higher in-hospital death rate than men. In terms of age, the researchers found that the rates of AMI for younger men and women have not changed. The rates for older people, however, fell by 20 percent.

"It is concerning that hospitalization rates for heart attack in the young have not shown any reduction, suggesting that lack of awareness and poorer control of cardiovascular risk factors-including diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking may be responsible," said lead author Aakriti Gupta, a resident at the Yale School of Medicine reported in by Medical Xpress.

The research team plans on identifying the underlying biological factors that might be contributing to poor outcomes seen in female patients. By uncovering the factors, the team hopes that future treatments and preventive measure can help reduce those rates.

The study, "Trends in Acute Myocardial Infarction in Young Patients and Differences by Sex and Race, 2001 to 2010," was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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