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Study Reports Younger Hispanic Women have a Greater risk of Death from Heart Attack

Update Date: Nov 20, 2013 08:36 AM EST

When it comes to survival rates, several factors, such as age, race and gender can play a huge role. In a new study, researchers found that younger Hispanic women are at a greater risk of death from a heart attack. The researchers explained that this group of women tend to have co-existing conditions, such as diabetes, and are less likely to be able to have percutaneous coronary interventions or coronary artery bypass surgery.

For this study, the research team examined a population of around 207,000 patients who were hospitalized due to a heart attack. The patients were men and women. Over 6,500 of them were Hispanic and African-American women under the age of 65. Based from the data, the researchers found that Hispanic and African-American women tended to be younger than white women when they were first hospitalized due to a heart attack.

After the team took clinical and demographic variables into account, the researchers reported that Hispanic, African-American and white women were 1.5, 1.4 and 1.2 times respectively more likely to die in the hospital when compared to white men. These groups of women were also less likely to undergo percutaneous coronary interventions or coronary artery bypass when compared to white men. When the researchers looked at the rates of diabetes, they found that younger Hispanic women had the highest rates of this chronic health condition at 55.9 percent. Only 46.1 percent of African-American women and 35.9 percent of white women had diabetes.

"Our findings of striking racial/ethnic, gender and age disparities in heart attack treatment patterns and outcomes suggest that young minority women should be targeted for both primary and secondary prevention of ischemic heart disease," said Fatima Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H., study leading author, Internal Medicine Resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

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