Health Topics > VITAL SIGNS; Risks: Disparities Found in Heart-Related Deaths

VITAL SIGNS; Risks: Disparities Found in Heart-Related Deaths

A new study comparing death rates of men and women after heart attacks and unstable angina finds that women are almost twice as likely to die within 30 days. But they tend to be older, to have complicating illnesses and to show different disease patterns.

Some 9.6 percent of women died within a month of a heart attack or unstable angina, compared with 5.3 percent of men. But the differences between the patients' characteristics explained most of the gap, said the paper's first author, Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger, an assistant professor of medicine and surgery at New York University School of Medicine.

The study, published Aug. 26 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, examined the cases of more than 130,000 patients from several countries. The researchers had access to clinical information about women that similar studies had lacked.

''If you had a 61-year-old woman with hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes, and a 61-year-old man with hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, and both have acute coronary syndrome, you would expect the mortality to be the same -- and it is,'' Dr. Berger said. But he added: ''The women are not going to be like the men. They're going to be older, have more co-morbidities'' -- other diseases that complicate their heart condition -- ''and they are going to present differently.''

Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse