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Study finds women slightly more likely to die than men in the 30 days following a heart attack
Date:8/25/2009

A new study from NYU School of Medicine found that women may have a slightly higher risk of death than men in the thirty days following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), but that these differences appear to be attributable to factors such as severity and type of ACS. The study, published in the August 26, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found however that overall there was no significant difference in mortality observed between the sexes after a heart attack. The large observational study pooled 136,247 ACS patients from 11 independent, international randomized clinical trials between 1993 and 2006.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women. The major cause of death from cardiovascular disease is acute coronary syndromes, the dangerous rupture of plaque inside the heart's coronary artery. Three types of ACS, or heart attack, include unstable angina (worsening chest pain or chest pain at rest) that may progress to a heart attack; a less severe heart attack with partial or temporary blockages known as Non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI); or a more severe heart attack called ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) - caused by complete or a persistently blocked blood supply to the heart.

"Our research concludes that there is a difference in mortality between men and women depending on the type of ACS they suffer," said lead study author, Jeffrey Berger, MD, MS, Director of Cardiovascular Thrombosis, Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center, The Leon H Charney Division of Cardiology at NYU School of Medicine. "Among STEMI or more severe heart attacks - 30 day mortality was significantly higher among women than men. For NSTEMI or less severe heart attacks and unstable angina women had lower 30 day mortality than men. The lower risk in women after a less severe presentation is likely explained by the less severe blockages seen in women. The highe
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Contact: Lauren Woods
lauren.woods@nyumc.org
212-404-3753
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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