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Women No More Likely to Die After Angioplasty
Date:11/1/2011

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women undergoing angioplasty, a procedure to unblock a clogged artery, show more indicators for heart disease than men, according to new research.

However, the study also shows that women are at no higher odds of dying after an angioplasty than male patients.

In conducting the study, published Nov. 1 in the journal Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, researchers analyzed information on almost 4,800 women and nearly 9,000 men who had undergone angioplasty.

They found the women were not at greater risk of death following an angioplasty because of their gender. But they were much more likely to have certain risk factors than men.

"While men did have higher rates of some modifiable risk factors, such as smoking, women certainly had a far greater overall burden of co-morbidities [other illnesses] and adverse prognostic factors," researcher Dr. Annapoorna Kini, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said in a journal news release.

Compared to men, the women were older and more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes and higher LDL, or "bad," cholesterol levels, all of which are linked to heart disease. More women than men also had an unstable heart condition.

Death rates among women were higher than men 30 days, one year and three years after angioplasty. However, after adjusting for the imbalance in risk factors between men and women, the study showed women were at no greater risk for death than men after undergoing an angioplasty. Still, the study's authors noted that both men and women would benefit from reducing risk factors that lead to heart disease.

One expert called the findings "a 'glass half empty or glass half full' situation."

"On the one hand, gender doesn't appear as important as it once did, perhaps because we have better focus on the specifics of women's health issues," said Dr. Kirk Garratt, director of Inter
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