According to study authors, sex is an important factor in the study of ACS and should be considered in future research and delivery of care to men and women who present with ACS. "This study shines a light on ACS in men and women. Studies like this have the ability to improve healthcare for men and women- helping physicians understand sex-differences in why heart attacks happen, and therefore target treatments more effectively and provide for better outcomes," said Dr. Berger.
The study highlights the important sex-differences in the complex spectrum of ACS including how plaque rupture is more common in men, but plaque erosion is more common in women. Women were older at the time of ACS with more comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Women who underwent catheterization were more likely to have non-obstructive disease and less multi-vessel disease than men. This difference was most pronounced in NSTEMI or unstable angina, where women had a 2 -fold higher prevalence of non-obstructive disease. Women had lower rates of coronary stenosis or narrowing of arteries compared to men.
"Discovering and understanding the health differences among men and women may lead to better diagnostics, risk assessment and better treatment of all patients with ACS and the ability to save more lives," said co-author Judith Hochman, MD, MA, Harold Snyder Family Professor of Cardiology and director of Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at New York University School of Medicine. " Our study indicates that STEMI, NSTEMI and unstable angina should be evaluated separately. We are actively investigating the mechanism of STEMI and NSTEMI heart attacks in women without coronary blockages."
|Contact: Lauren Woods|
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine